National Ugly Mugs (NUM)


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National Ugly Mugs (NUM) is a pioneering, national organisation which provides greater access to justice and protection for sex workers who are often targeted by dangerous individuals but are frequently reluctant to report these incidents to the police.  These offenders are often serial sexual predators who pose a huge risk to the public as a whole.

Our Mission:

Ending Violence Against Sex Workers


Our values:

We believe in and advocate for the human rights of sex workers including;

  • the right to self determination
  • the right to live free from violence
  • the right to live free from intimidation, coercion or exploitation
  • the right to work as safely as possible
  • the right to police protection

What we do:

  • We take reports of incidents from sex workers and produce anonymised warnings which are sent directly to sex workers and front-line support projects throughout the UK.
  • With consent, we share anonymous intelligence to the police.
  • We support sex workers in making full reports to the police so that the perpetrators can be identified, arrested and convicted.
  • We ensure sex workers have access to professional services when they have been a victim of crime.

Our Aims:

  • To improve the safety of sex workers
  • To prevent crime
  • To bring to justice more offenders who target sex workers.
  • To support sex workers in accessing  frontline services
  • To increase the number of crimes against sex workers reported to the police
  • To enhance the levels of intelligence that exist throughout the UK about dangerous criminals

Click here to see a list of NUM champions and supporters. 

To hear more about what we do, sign up to our newsletter for regular updates on our work!

History of NUM

Ugly Mugs schemes were first introduced in Victoria, Australia in 1986 by the Prostitutes Collective, they realised that circulating descriptions of ‘ugly mugs’ could warn other sex workers about dangerous people and situations. Although schemes have been in place locally in the UK for many years, NUM is the first national scheme in the world. Funding was awarded for the scheme by the Home Office to the UK Network of Sex Work Projects (UKNSWP), for a pilot scheme to operate for 12 months from April 2012, with the scheme being live for 9 months from July 2012.

There are various reasons for ugly mugs schemes, sex workers in some sectors frequently suffer violence and other crimes committed by people presenting as clients, also sex workers are also often reluctant to make formal complaints to the police and so records do not reflect actual prevalence of how common this violence can be. However, offenders need to be identified because they may attack other sex workers, with studies showing men who murder sex workers frequently have a history of violence against sex workers and others.

CASE STUDIES (Click to enlarge):


To become a member and receive alerts:

  • Please click “Join” on the top menu. This will take you to the registration form.
  • Fill in the form and select which type of membership you require.
  • If you would like to receive alerts by SMS or e-mail please indicate this by providing your number/address in the appropriate field.
  • Once you have submitted your registration you will be sent a password.
  • Your membership will be processed manually and we will inform you when we have processed your application and you can then log in using your username and the password that was sent to you. Usernames and passwords are case sensitive.

If you have any problems please e-mail us on admin@uglymugs.org