Champions and supporters

National Ugly Mugs Champions

Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Martin Hewitt, Met Police, National Police Lead for Adult Sex Offences.

“The National Ugly Mugs Scheme is a crucial step forward in improving the safety of sex workers and, indeed, the wider public. We know that sex workers are targeted by  violent criminals but, for many reasons they don’t report to the police what are often very serious crimes committed against them.  I have no doubt that this Scheme will  give us better intelligence about dangerous  individuals, support police investigations and ultimately help us bring these violent criminals to justice. Everyone has the right to police protection and access to the criminal justice system and this Scheme will help us ensure that this notion is a reality for sex workers.”

Andrew Boff, London Assembly Member, author of ‘Silence on Violence’

“I applaud the Government’s decision to support a pilot National Ugly Mugs Scheme. This valuable project has been such a success across the UK on a local level. A nationally coordinated version will go several steps further in helping prevent violence against sex workers. While sex workers tend to distrust the police, Ugly Mugs is a vital route for sex workers to report crimes and warn other sex workers about potential criminals.”

Jane Ayres, Praed Street Project, London

“This scheme is a great opportunity to bring the reporting of ugly mugs into 6th gear! It offers more flexibility for sex workers at a time when transience for work is an everyday part of the modern sex industry. This is our collective opportunity to improve safety at work. Rock on the Pilot!”

Kim Balmer on behalf of Beyond the Streets

“Beyond the Streets believes that all people have a right to live free from violence and exploitation. The National Ugly Mugs scheme has a vital role to play in the safety of people in the sex industry. The scheme seeks to bring justice to all who have experienced violence and reduce fear through seeing increased reporting and protection. We stand with National Ugly Mugs and encourage all our affiliate projects to sign up to the scheme”

Amy Vergnes, SAAFE representative

“The scheme will form a lifeline for people like me all over the country, many of whom have no access to sex work projects and because of their personal circumstances and stigma, feel they have nowhere to turn in the event they are victims of crime. Allowing us the means to provide important information to the police anonymously and without fear of exposure or recrimination will not only catch criminals, it will save lives, and this scheme tells the world in no uncertain terms that our lives are just as important as everybody else’s.”

Josh Brandon, International Award Winning Male Escort

“I am happy to give my full support as a champion for the National Ugly Mugs Scheme as it provides a mediator between the police and the victim. There is a real danger of escorts not reporting often very serious crimes because of their fears of being prosecuted, investigated or not taking seriously. The men who target sex workers do so because they know this. From my experience with helping other escorts start-up, I know this scheme can help save lives and protect sex workers and escorts and lead to more reporting of crimes that are all too often ignored leading to even more serious crimes being committed.”

Hilary Kinnell, author of ‘Violence and Sex Work in Britain’

“I am delighted that a National Ugly Mugs Scheme is at last in the process of development. My research indicates that those who use violence towards sex workers are frequently repeat offenders, and may well offend in more than one area. Having a nationwide protocol for reporting, recording and disseminating information about attacks to other sex workers will assist in apprehension of offenders and create a unique resource to monitor patterns of violence against a uniquely vulnerable group.  For the scheme to succeed, it is vital that all projects for sex workers participate, working with their own clients to promote the safe reporting of violence, and with their local police to promote good practice in how such crimes are handled.  I wish the scheme every success.”

Catherine Stephens, IUSW

Rosie Campbell OBE, Durham University, who has carried out research on sex work for seventeen years, was a founder member and former Chair of UKNSWP.

NUM is a  fantastic scheme!  Building on a legacy of sex workers taking the initiative to alert each other to dangerous people  it complements and links at a national level schemes coordinated by local sex work projects and  escort warning boards.  It gives sex workers  throughout the UK an option; for reporting crimes against them, to alert other sex workers nationally,  to get information about offenders targeting sex workers to the police and to aid investigations and prosecutions. It is an important step in the recognition of the rights of sex workers to public protection and justice.

Professor Maggie O’Neil, Principal Ustinov College, Durham University, who has carried out participatory action research on sex work for over twenty years.

"The landmark launch of NUM  reinforces the message that preventing violence and protecting sex workers  is a priority underpinned by a strong international and national research evidence base that challenges stereotypes, shows the complexity of sex workers lives and their rights to citizenship and recognition"

Dr Teela Sanders, Reader in Sociology, University of Leeds who has been researching the sex industry for the past 10 years and was Chair of Genesis Sex Work Support Project, Leeds

“This is an invaluable toolkit for preventing and tacking violence against sex workers and is the culmination of over a decade of work by projects to get this issue onto the national policing agenda. An excellent example of collaborative working between projects, police and sex workers, we hope this will send the core message forward that crimes against sex workers should be taken seriously with the appropriate resources to deal with them.”

Hong Tan, Director of the London Sexual Health Programme.

“I am thrilled to be a champion of the National Ugly Mugs Scheme. As the lead health commissioner for the Havens- the 3 SARCs in London, it is vital that SARCs and other stakeholders, actively engage in the Scheme to support our clients and our intelligence systems.

It is a privilege to be asked to be a NUM Champion, the work of the National Ugly Mugs Pilot Scheme is vital to the identification of dangerous sex offenders and to protecting women.”

Detective Chief Superintendent, Tim Keelan, Merseyside Police

“The National Ugly Mugs initiative is an important step in enhancing the safety of sex workers. This is particularly true of those people who are most vulnerable who work ‘on-street’, however, it will definitely heighten the safety of others in the industry and the wider community, as those that prey on sex-workers don’t only confine their offending to that group of people. The initiative is a means of providing information, regarding not only those that physically assault and steal from sex workers but also those that pose real threat of sexual violence and murder. Ugly mugs can assist in the provision to the police of what is effectively precursor information, which may assist the police to take pre-emptive action to prevent an escalation of the offending by the person concerned.

I am really confident that this opportunity will assist in the development of further partnership working between outreach projects and police forces, which will enhance public safety and provide reassurance to individuals that police forces will take issues notified to them seriously. All people have a human right to protection and justice, which ugly mugs will enhance.”

Detective Chief Inspector Sue Cawley, Deputy Head of Public Protection unit Lancashire Police

“The Ugly Mugs Scheme forms an intrinsic part of the recently launched Lancashire Police Prostitution Strategy. Our staff have been trained on the existence of the scheme and its many benefits. I view the Ugly Mugs reports as a real opportunity to better protect vulnerable people . I also welcome this as a scheme which will allow us to better understand our communities and catch and convict those who are a danger to sex workers and others.”

Zoe Lodrick, Psychotherapist & Trainer.

“It is an privilege to be asked to be a NUM Champion, the work of the National Ugly Mugs Pilot Scheme is vital to the identification of dangerous sex offenders and to protecting women.”

Kate Green MP, Shadow Spokesperson for Women and Equality

“I'm proud to be a champion for Ugly Mugs. Violence against sex workers is never acceptable, and NUM is a great initiative with everyone working together to prevent it.”

Vera Baird QCPolice and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.

Nici Evans, Partnership Development Manager: Cardiff Partnership Board; Chair of Cardiff Sex Work Forum

"The Cardiff Sex Work Forum is committed to rolling out the National Ugly Mugs Scheme in the City because it is an excellent mechanism to record violence against sex workers, which is allowing us to develop a clearer picture of this hidden crime. Several front-line services and staff have now been trained in reporting into Ugly Mugs and we hope that with time, this will lead Sex Workers to have more confidence in reporting crimes perpetrated against them."

National Ugly Mugs Supporters


Detective Chief Inspector, James Harman, Westminster Crime Investigation Department.

“The National Ugly Mugs Scheme is a real step forward in public safety. The police are working to build and maintain confidence across all sections of the community, and by working in partnership we can protect those who are vulnerable and target those who are dangerous.”

The Hon Lindsay Hoyle MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.

*In addition to those listed above, all the members of the UKNSWP Board and the UKNSWP Patron, Baroness Vivien Stern, give their full support to the NUM Scheme.