walkingborders

'Walking Borders: borders, risk and belonging' is funded by the Leverhulme Trust

Walk 15.Walking with Rosie Campbell and Shelly Stoops in Liverpool: Sex Work, Violence, Hate Crime and Resilience

Walking with Rosie Campbell and Shelly Stoops in the spaces and places of street sex work in Liverpool.

Walking with Rosie Campbell and Shelly Stoops in Liverpool was a poignant as well as an affirming experience. They traced a walk-through areas of Liverpool which had in the past been or were areas where street sex work took place and at the same time  the walk traced their own history as researchers, outreach staff, and activists both challenging stigma and violence against sex workers, whilst supporting the women working both on and off street in Liverpool for the past twenty years. It was an affirming experience in that the walk and conversations often revolved around their shared practice, what they had contributed to Liverpool, specifically around challenging violence, coercion and control, as well as our shared commitment to promoting rights and social justice for sex workers.

We started our walk in a small café (a place they had often taken a break when on street outreach) over a cup of tea and they talked me through the route they were going to take me on.

IFig.1 MG_1681.JPGFig.1. Rosie and Shelly

Our conversation in the café covered the regeneration of the area, resident’s action against sex workers and displacement of sex work, Rosie and Shelly’s history in responding to sex work in Liverpool, the development of the Merseyside hate crime approach to addressing violence against sex workers and Rosie’s recent  PhD on this topic. Varying responses of residents some campaigning  against sex work taking place in the area others supporting sex worker safety was a key theme especially in the 1990s, regeneration, criminalisation, as well as violence against sex workers from the beginning of their work in the mid 90’s to the present day.

Fig.2 IMG_1683.JPGFig.2. Discussing the route

In walking with Rosie and Shelly through ‘their’ Liverpool I also got a sense of how deeply connected they were to the city, its history, politics and culture.  Rosie said “I’ve moved away from the city just in the last two years after nearly twenty nine years here, I cry every time I come into the city, you know my heart lies in Liverpool” Shelly replied  “I cry every time you leave”. Campaigning by residents against sex work in the area, displacement  and violence against sex workers were key themes.  Our walk documented in large part the murders and rapes that both Rosie and Shelly had evidenced in their long history of outreach work in Liverpool, but both also, along the way, wanted  to stress the inspirational women they had met, their resilience, the  difficult times and the humour they had shared.

Walking in Canning, Abercromby: ‘prostitution in inner city Liverpool’ histories and politics.

Shelly

The history of sex work goes back far longer than Rosie and I. It was very much port related and then there was a shift during World War II because we had troops coming in through the train station because the docks were being constantly bombed. So they couldn’t bring them in by boat, and Lime Street Station became the kind of place everybody would come to  and  so the sex work carried on around there.  When we were kids we used to say ‘oh your mum works down at Limey’ and things like that you know really negative stuff, but we didn’t know what we were talking about. Rosie, if you want to pick it up there when it moves then to the clubs on Jamaica Street.

Rosie

Yes, club and bar working in and around Jamaica Street.  The port scene on the Dock Road still carried on into the late 90s, when I did the health of seafarers and lorry drivers in the port  research. Oh I had some amazing nights in the remaining  bars, where some  port sex workers still were, a couple of women who had worked thirty years and had  talked about how they’d never left Bootle till they worked, then they actually travelled the world a bit on the ships. It was more a dying scene by the time I was doing that action research with Portside.

Shelly

Containerisation changed the shipping industry.

Rosie

Yes, you had a reduction in seafarers with some seventy percent of stuff is containerised, so quick turnaround seafarers did not  stay over  as often, increased security around the docks…as well as changes in the sex industry,  more people would just pick up a phone and go to a massage parlour and now with online stuff.

Walking in Liverpool:The Route

The route was going to take place in Canning in Abercromby. This was an important landmark for Rosie because it is where she conducted the research  in 1995 Street Prostitution in Inner City Liverpool  “consulting residents, sex workers, men who pay for sex and police and policy people”. This was a landmark study for Liverpool and led directly to multi-agency and further  harm reduction recommendations and changes.

Rosie

We’re  going to see the very beautiful Georgian architecture area near the two cathedrals.  Gambier Terrace, Hope Street, Mount Street and near where the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts has now appeared, and so a really important historical area. As Shell said, there was a shift up from the station post war into that area. So those properties had gone multi-occupancy, then  into the 1990s and they were beginning to be redeveloped.

Shelly

Yes, this led to regeneration and tensions with incoming residents and then campaigning.

I asked them how they both came to be working in the field of sex work.

Beginnings and Biographies

Both Rosie and Shelly’s biographies are in important part of the narrative that emerged along the walk. Rosie’s own biography as a student and then an academic and an outreach worker represents a lifetime of work supporting sex workers. Shelly was working as a helpline co-ordinator of a domestic abuse project and met two sex workers and then, as a consequence, changed the direction of her work towards supporting sex workers. The two met for the first time at the Linx project in the late 1990s

Rosie

When I arrived as a student in the 1980’s, I wasn’t involved at that time, but the Maryland Centre was one of the first innovative outreach projects in the country, HIV prevention, and we’ll walk near Maryland today and there’s always been that solid history of innovative, harm reduction, holistic sex work projects in Liverpool since the 1980s.

I got more directly involved as a researcher in 1995, I got involved more in activism as a volunteer at the Maryland Centre, and  was then involved in setting up the Linx Project after the Street Prostitution in Inner City Liverpool  report was published; and that’s when me and Shell met. Shell was a volunteer there and that’s where our lives connect. And the personal and the professional and political interact. You know it’s a passion for us.

Shelly

And I came to it because I used to work in the domestic violence project which was a floor above the Linx Project when it was on the Strand.   I’d gone down there to do photocopying because they had a colour photocopier of all things and the worker was on the phone and two sex workers came to the door so I let them in and I was like ‘can I get you a drink’ and you know ‘oh yes’ they wanted a cup of tea and then I’m making the tea and I could hear them talking and one says to the other ‘oh I got raped again last night’ so her friend said ‘oh I know it’s terrible isn’t it, it happened to me about two weeks ago you know it’s just it’s a nightmare isn’t it but anyway when we’ve finished seeing shall we go and get some chips’. And I was just so taken aback by that because I was upstairs working  as helpline coordinator, working with policies, with laws, with legislations around domestic abuse.

I’m thinking, we’ve got two women here, and women are dying in the UK because they’re working in a criminalised framework, there is no policies to keep them safe, they’re talking about rape as if it was just an everyday normal thing.  I thought, ‘I want to be there’ and then I applied to be a volunteer in the Linx Project.

Rosie

And after doing Street Prostitution in Inner City Liverpool Project, we met with residents, sex workers in the city. I was working  at Liverpool Hope University, but I just couldn’t leave it then, and I was in a space at the university where they were really promoting impact in the 90s, and really encouraging us to stay involved. I worked with Safer Merseyside Partnership and other folks to implement some of the recommendations.

Rosie talked about moving between working on the front line with agencies and sex workers and working in academia, moving between the two, the importance of this for her practice  and the vital importance of outreach projects.

Some years later I applied for the role of co-ordinator of Armistead Street and that was when me and Shelly worked really very closely for four years while I was with the project, and we set up a new street sex work project, I co-ordinated ‘Portside’ for indoor sex workers as well, and we lived through all sorts of really great stuff  including  the  policy introduced  by Merseyside Police of treating crimes against sex workers as hate crime. This  was revolutionary, the first place in the UK,  it is centrally about rights to justice, rights to public safety, it’s not about a paternalistic protection or anything like that and it recognises diversity and all genders of people, so yes, so we worked with them didn’t we Shell.

Shelly

Yes and I joined when Rosie was co-ordinator, I was taken on as an outreach worker, but within a year this money came from the Home Office. Rosie did the bid and we applied for this Independent Sexual Violence Advisor  (ISVA) Funding  and  we were successful in getting that, and I became the ISVA for sex workers and it was kind of a new thing, no one had ever done it.

I then left that role in 2012 to take up the manager’s role at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), and remained on outreach until March this year, but I still employ the sex work ISVA now in the Sarc that I manage, so that the post continues.

I think, at that time, it was a combination of everything in alignment really, the planets were in alignment as we say.  We had Rosie, myself, the police, obviously the women were the most important thing, because they had to trust and believe that we were going to deliver on what we were promising and I think we did.

Rosie

Yes, Shell all those elements were there the ISVA role, the new SARC which Shell has gone on to manage, the Unity team at the police, other police departments, the senior  officers  including the chief constable leads on Public Protection like Dixie McNeill and Tim Keelan, various sergeants, our sex work liaison officers people like Cheryl and Tracy who we know so well now.

Street Sex Work and The Importance of Outreach

Rosie and Shelly both still do outreach work and have done so for over twenty years, Rosie now in Leeds and Shelly in Liverpool.

Rosie

We enjoy outreach. And you really feel you are in the moment and you know it’s the lifeblood of projects and now I do net-reach too.

Shelly,

We love outreach, we love it. But once you’ve done it you can never not do it, I think you just can’t.

Rosie

No you can’t, no and having gone on to manage, the sex work project in Leeds Basis, even though I’ve left that post, I do some outreach there, it’s just once a month.

So it’s lovely to work with them, but back to the hate crime stuff we were literally on outreach and this was before we’d been talking about hate crime with the police and we saw a stencil, a graffiti stencil of Peter Sutcliffe and it said ‘….

Shelly

‘Warning Peter Sutcliffe operates in this area’ and it’s the photo on the front of Hilary Kinnell’s book. Violence and Sex Work in Britain

Rosie

And it was just then we went oh!  I took a photo on my phone. Well, we then had  discussions about this is hate graffiti, we had discussions about some of the issues faced by sex workers and some faced by the LGBT community,  of discrimination, sexual objectification, rights violations and it went from there really, and  we were just really lucky that the hate crime units and the hate crime sergeant came to us and said  ‘I see sex workers really fitting with this brief ‘and it went from there. With that graffiti the council treated it as hate crime graffiti and is was rapidly painted over.

Picture1

Fig.3. Sutcliffe Graffiti. Image: Rosie Campbell

Shelly

A  Detective Chief Superintendent was the one who said ‘I think we should formalise this.’

In Liverpool, violence against sex workers is now treated as hate crime by Merseyside Police.

Sexual Violence: Rape and Murders of Sex Workers

Rosie and Shelly spoke during the walk, at various landmarks, about  violence against sex workers. The first murder they talked about was that of Julie Finley, who was last seen on Crown Street.  At the start of our walk they then shared their experience of the Neil Chubb case one of their early cases at the Armistead Project.

Rosie

Neil Chubb was convicted, the woman he attacked  had been orally raped and she’d kept cum in her mouth and went to the police station. She was DNA aware, probably due to the work with Shell.  We took a great interest in safety from the start of the project and what it meant was that the DNA was ID’d, the same person who’d attacked a woman, who sadly we can’t name because she’s such an inspiration. He’d raped her weeks before, she had poor sight and it was heavily raining, she rushed into a car. And what happened then, this guy attacked a sixteen year old, a young person, who wasn’t involved in sex work and sexually assaults her, and then gets on to a bus and the police are called, and he’s arrested and then his DNA shows up.

That was the start

Shelly

That was our first case.

Rosie

Of endless cases that we’ll probably talk you through as we see various places.

Shelly

Forty men have gone to prison since then. For a hundred and seventy years plus. To date thirty-five women have had justice that we know of.

Rosie

And of course  important to mention the whole work round National Ugly Mugs. Shell and I did the development project that was funded by the Home Office that went onto be what it is today.  We presented the model on behalf of the UKNSWP,  now NUM UKSWP, to Theresa May, now the Prime Minister, she was then Home Secretary. Lynne Featherstone the Lib Dem minister who worked with her was very good, very progressive around sex worker rights and safety.

So Merseyside was always supportive of and did not shy away from  trying to share and advocate for better law and policy really.

I say that my memory of the development of the UK network is that it evolved out of the policing and violence group that Rosie chaired from the late 1990s into the mid 2000’s.

Rosie

Yes well after the research in Liverpool in 1995 I got involved in what was the M62 group; the projects in the North. And that was a very active group that was linked to EUROPAP UK which was the European funded network and the amazing Hilary Kinnell was a big influence, but then EUROPAP funding was pulled and we wanted to sustain this and UKNSWP was founded, you were part of that Maggie, and so it was partly from that change with EUROPAP  and that active group,  the M62 group,  became the safety violence and policing group within UKNSWP.

So it started regionally but it became national.

Rosie

Yes, yes but there was already the basis with Hilary’s work with the UK part of EUROPAP. We sought to share the reality of how sex work’s structured, how people are experiencing it, how the local policy, policing and national law’s impacting on sex workers safety.

IFig.4 hope stMG_1727.JPG

Fig.4. Hope Street

Shelly

On my first night out on outreach, the first person I saw was on Hope Street, and it was X who we saw the first night you and I went out on outreach from Armistead, do you remember?  This area  used to be really bohemian then and  all of a sudden these yuppies are moving in.

So Regeneration is beginning to take place?

Rosie

Yes, and by the time as Shell said in 2006 when we have the Armistead Centre  and from our first outreach from the Centre until when I left, no one was working here.

We once saw a woman in Falkner Square, do you remember Shell who had come out, she’d left sex work and married someone with quite a bit of money, a big business and it had all gone tits up, bankruptcy. And she was there and she was going ‘’where is everyone?’  It’s moved, yes it’s moved.

Rosie

Yes so we’re going to go down Grove Street and Crown Street and then into the University campus; the university has been relatively tolerant. There have been changes particularly in the last five years, since I left Armistead, with some huge new University buildings on Crown Street that are open until 10pm at night.   They have put more pressure on the police.   Particularly relevant is  Crown Street, that touches us personally,  as Anne Marie Foy was found murdered just off there.

So we’d known Anne Marie some time, I’d met her years earlier, then we didn’t see her, and then she’d started working again, and it was not long after that, she was murdered. A  lovely woman, a grandmum, a mother.  And just before the murder, I had negotiated with the police an area of ‘lesser chance of complaint’   an informal managed area.

Shelly

From  2005 till 2010 every other Wednesday we used work with Brownlow Group Practice  GP surgery from seven o’clock till half past ten and we’d have a consultant gynaecologist there, we’d have a GUM nurse and a GP so the women could get all their healthcare needs seen to, the primary care and sexual health and if they needed a script and all those kind of things. It  was a community space too, right in the middle of the beat, and we used it as a kind of an informal drop-in.

And then Christmas times we’d have  a Christmas party there for the women, and all kinds of stuff and it was a really, really good resource but again a cut in funding as it was not seen as a primary  need;  we argued that it was because your health is your most important need.

And so  health and safety connects..

Shelly

Absolutely and that gave us a place to talk about safety as well because if they’re sitting waiting for the doctor we could talk about important messages you know safety, harm reduction, all kinds of things and I would make soup, do a big cook-up and I’d make a vegan curry, a vegan chilli, a vegan boli and I’d say here’s your dinners for the week and stuff like that.

Rosie

Pauline and Hanane were murdered and their bodies were cut up and put in bin bags and found  further over in the Everton area it was before Armstead when the  Linx Project were there, it was just every murder is as awful as the next and we were devastated at this, but in the chopping and the disrespect for their physical bodies was awful.

Rosie

Oh it was awful and that again triggered the council voted for legalisation so this was 2003, yes.

‘Unprotected’, the Armistead and policing violence against sex workers

Shelly

Yes, at Christmas remember it went to Tony Blair and he came back and said ‘I will not be the Prime Minister who legalises prostitution’. Yes but we’d had so many murders hadn’t we.

Rosie

Absolutely, and this is  why they were doing this project at the Armistead supporting  a moving play about sex work at the Everymann, called ‘Unprotected’ and we then met Hanane’s mother Dianne Parry who’s a good friend of ours now, an amazing woman who lost her daughter, went through hell then when she’d come through it she put a lot of energies into campaigning to humanise sex workers and  change the law.

And that was a terrible episode but brought about this further impetus for change and Liverpool was part of a movement for change.

Shelly

Yes and that’s when Rosie negotiated the area of lesser complaint, just after that in 2005.

Rosie

Yes but we’d literally just started as the Armistead.  The project opened on the first of August 2005 and Anne Marie Foy was killed on the nineteenth of September 2005.

Key people were aware of a real ground shift in terms of the recognition that enforcement  does not protect people and it  can undermine it.

So the policing of violence against sex workers becomes a priority in Liverpool.

Rosie

But it’s such a tragedy. In my PhD there’s one chapter on murder, managed areas and that was a real shift for everyone.

Liverpool has got a spirit of rebellion, a spirit of humanitarianism, you know it’s a port, I was looking at the humour too, it  is just unforgettable which helps get you through.

You know people often said to us and we always said this, ‘oh it must be terrible doing that work’ and we go there are moments you know in relation to the women and some of the terrible experiences they have gone through  but also  we’re going ‘well there are, there is that but there’s also this like amazing resilience’ we say and also this humour.

Shelly

We’ve had some fun haven’t we.

Rosie

Oh yes, yes we’ll tell you some great stories.

IFig. 5 blackburne HouseMG_1684Fig.5. Blackburne House.

Rosie

So this is Blackburne House Maggie, the Women’s  Science and Technology Centre, a  really groundbreaking initiative of the early 90s.  So you’re at the heart of Canning that was an area of sex work for about thirty years,  and these road closures originally were part of traffic management schemes to disrupt sex work, street sex work.

So we’re on the corner of Mount Street and Blackburne Place.

And we’re going to walk up and then back down to the Maryland Centre which was very important.

IFig.6 MG_1687Fig.6. Shelly and Rosie discuss Blackburne House.

Rosie

I do like this whole area, it’s amazing isn’t it and of course in Blackburne House  when I was at the  Applied Research Centre, I was involved in running an applied women’s studies masters  here, which was bloody brilliant. And all the teachers and the women who came on that were amazing and we had European Social Fund money which you know so people had their fees paid, there’s a nursery there.

Oh this area is replete with history, the pub that John Lennon drank in, The Cracke is just down there.

Fig.7 IMG_1690.JPGFig.7. Suitcases, symbols of migration.

Shelly

Overt here, all these suitcases these sculptures, signify migration, the people who have arrived and left the city.

IFig.8 MG_1728.JPGFig.8. Suitcases.

Rosie

Isn’t it beautiful.  That’s been up for over a decade. And that corner that was very busy when we first interviewed for the research, the kerb crawling, the route for people buying services, was all round here.

IFig.9 MG_1726.JPGFig.9.Gambier Terrace.

Rosie

So you  can’t see at the minute but Hope Street connects the two Cathedrals of Liverpool.

Fig.10IMG_1694Fig.10. Former Green Door

Shelly

This was the green door, it just used to be a house and it had a green door and a woman was murdered there in the 80s, before our time, but we were told about it and the guy carried her head round in a bag for weeks.

Rosie

So when I first got really involved in street sex work research there were mega tensions with some of the residents, and I say some, the settled residents were not the ones putting the pressure on to arrest the women, move them on, and I remember we literally as part of the research we did a random stratified sample  survey, knocking on doors.

Fig.11 IMG_1705.JPGFig.11. St Bride’s Church.

Rosie

We called a number of public meetings with the residents, and Canning Area Residents Group were trained to help us with the research,  and we used St Bride’s Church which we’ll walk past now.

It was such a powerful moment and it was very heated, you had a group of  supportive residents who understood social exclusion. They understood because for those sex workers who you know used and had problems with heroin and other drugs you know there was a bit of an understanding already gaining amongst some members of the community and with all the harm reduction work that had gone on.

So we’re now on Percy Street which women  did work along  at the end in the 1980s and 1990s.

Fig.12 IMG_1699.JPGFig.12. Percy Street.

Shelly

As Rosie said this  was really downbeat, you could pick up one of these houses, a whole house for four thousand quid In 1984, because I looked at buying one [laughs].

Shelly

Linda, one of the women who was murdered  lived along here. She used to live in one of the flats, I don’t know which one because it was before our time.  She was found on a golf course out the other side of Liverpool and they suspect that a guy called David Smith, who’s known for lots of sex worker murders, the Honey Monster he’s called, he’s has been suspected of her murder.

And then the last one he killed was a young woman from Leeds who’d fled to London. The John School had just started.

Rosie

Yes it was a case that Hilary pointed to in her book and the young woman didn’t know the scene.

Shelly

So she arrives in London basically say six o’clock at night, gets arrested at half past six for soliciting. Gets out of the police station at twelve o’clock and the next punter she meets is David Smith, and our argument for Ugly Mugs was that case was one of many because if she’d have the information maybe that could have prevented her going with him,  because  the London sex workers wouldn’t go near him.

Fig.13 IMG_1706.JPGFig.13. A community space provided by the Church.

Rosie

Look at that building it’s amazing.

The vicar there kindly said ‘use our room for free’  and so we had some meetings with the residents, community co-researchers and public meetings over the course of the project.

Rosie

Oh yes and look, some of these were owned by  wealthy people, the shipping magnets and so on.  Parliament Street, which we’re not going to, had some amazing  houses with ballrooms.

Shelly

That’s the start of it there, yes.

Fig.14 IMG_1707.JPGFig.14. Huskisson Street.

Rosie

Yes look at the wrought iron.

IFig.15 MG_1715.JPGFig.15. Beautiful Georgian Buildings.

Rosie

At that time things hadn’t been really thought through in terms of vulnerability.  I spoke to a couple of people who had spent most of their life, childhood in care and then without support they were housed in Canning where there was a big drugs market at the time, and then they got involved in street work and there’s someone who I’m thinking of very clearly.

And this is such a common story isn’t it?

Rosie

Yes, at  that period and before they’d thought about appropriate housing, and people really were not accepting that drugs are with us.

Fig.16 IMG_1711.JPGFig.16. Cathedral and Grounds.

Shelly

So that’s the park, I can see the graveyard and its quite spooky down there. It’s a beautiful, beautiful cathedral.

 

Fig.17 IMG_1716.JPG

Fig.17.Looking down towards the  graveyard.

Rosie

So we’ll be heading back now Mags to the Maryland Center

There is something about Liverpool and what it had been through in its history.  Don’t get me wrong I interviewed very hostile residents, very angry residents, there was a notorious man who set his dog on some of the women, a very, very notorious guy and , three women from further over into Kensington there very proudly saying how their husband had thrown bleach on street sex workers

And  I always remember a local councillor said something in a meeting  like ‘why can’t they just go  somewhere and swill in their own sewage’, it really was that whole stuff that’s there in the literature about sex workers as pollutants, sewage. And so we identified the irresponsibility of community leaders in fuelling violence,  there’d been a blockade of Grove Street which runs parallel to where we are and lots of history there.

Shelly

The beat itself is, it’s the largest street beat outside of London. It’s geographically spaced so it’s actually five miles in length.

Fig.18 IMG_1791

 

 

Fig.18. The Catholic Cathedral.

Shelly

Yes, and this is the Catholic Cathedral, it’s beautiful, Paddy’s Wigwam it’s known as locally. As we said, Hope street has a cathedral at each end.

Rosie

In 1996 I  interviewed Sharon, she  was later in a DV relationship  with a man who was found guilty.

Shelly

Who ultimately killed her.

Rosie

And then went to prison but then he was released on a technicality.

A technicality and they claimed it was an unsound conviction.  So when I met her Sharon was a youngish woman, about twenty, and she was quite vulnerable and she then did leave sex work, but she was homeless, begging and she was with this guy and he was first found guilty of killing her and dumping her in a grid just down here on Knight Street. Awful, awful, you know a lovely young woman, and as we say he was initially convicted and then released.

It really flags up that relationship doesn’t it in terms of both the sexual violence, domestic violence, domestic abuse.

Shelly

It is, that’s why we were passionate about what we are doing.

We did the campaign about it which was the first one because we were convinced we were not addressing the violence.

So we just said you know as part of the continuum of domestic abuse let’s do a campaign and we’ll raise awareness amongst the women and we got one conviction out of that for DV so it was worth the thousand pounds it cost us.

Rosie

Absolutely  it was, we also really recognised in that campaign that people had relationships that weren’t abusive as well.

Shelly

Because some people have really lovely relationships.

Rosie

And we saw DV in some  cases, we saw the coercion and control in action.  Do you remember the night, the woman had been with her partner for some years, he was now in a wheelchair and he hit out at her with his crutch you know. And we called the police

Places and spaces of regeneration

Fig.19 IMG_1738.JPG

Fig.19. No 60 Hope Street.

Fig.20 IMG_1741.JPG

Fig.20. Regeneration and Cafe Culture.

Rosie

And yes these are the cafés here Maggie, another regenerated area, some of these stood empty or they were multi-occupancy.

Shelly

This doesn’t even have like a name outside or anything it’s just Number 60, so it’s 60 Hope Street, it’s where all the celebs go for food and stuff, it’s very, very exclusive and very, very expensive.

Fig.21 IMG_1743.JPG

Fig.21. Regeneration.

Shelly

It’s a lovely area.  So you could buy  a whole house, those beautiful Georgian houses for four or five thousand quid at one time.

Rosie

Property is very expensive  now.

Fig.22 IMG_1745.JPG

Fig.22.

Rosie

We will come to the Everyman which is a real institution in a minute.

Fig.23 IMG_1746

Fig.23. The London Carriage Works.

Shelly

This is the Carriage Works and again it’s another place where all the celebs go.

Rosie

And there was a police station on Hope Street when we first started our work in 1995.

Fig.24 IMG_1750.JPG

Fig.24. Hope Street Hotel.

Shelly

Condoleezza Rice stayed here.

Fig.25  IMG_1757.JPG

Fig.25. Liverpool Philharmonic.

Rosie

And we are at  Liverpool Philharmonic

Shelly

In 1995 the beat stopped there, I don’t know prior to that if Hope was worked at this end. This would be very busy with lots of people arriving and of course the Philharmonic Rooms, which is the pub the carriage drivers used to go to, and the story they tell you is that they didn’t want it called a pub because the upper classes didn’t want to have their people going ‘oh they’ve been to the pub’.

IFig 26 MG_1758.JPGFig.26. The men’s loos.

Shelly

This pub has got some of  the most famous loos in the country.

Shelly

The tiles are original in the men’s loos

IFig.27 MG_1762.JPGFig.27. Beautiful Ceramics.

Rosie

The Phil always features in Guides of Liverpool and as I said , here Lark Lane and South Road are my favourite streets in the city and having worked here too, we’ll come to the Applied Research Centre next , I was lucky to work here for five years.

Fig.28 IMG_1774.JPG

Fig.28. Rosie and Shelly in the Philharmonic.

Shelly

I love Hope Street, I just love it.

Rosie

Love it, and the Phil.

Rosie

There’s some good things to take on this walk isn’t there.

IFig.29 MG_1775.JPG

Fig.29.

Shelly

The Casa, is still here, it’s owned by  dockers, they own it as a collective.  And it’s a very socially active place, so they have theatre nights, they have discussions, as I say lots of academics coming and going and a lot of the Hillsborough stuff was based there.

Rosie

So when we worked here  with the Applied Research Centre it was fantastic and it was at the heart  of  the sex work  research stuff and we were all engaged in various community based research.

Fig 30 IMG_1784.JPG

Fig.30. Rosie in front of the ‘Applied Research Centre,’ Liverpool Hope University.

Rosie

So this was owned by Liverpool Hope University, it was a convent and then the  Hope owned it and the  Applied Research Centre was here.  I’d just finished research on sexual health, and it would have been 1998 that we were down here, we were so pleased when we got our brass plaque for the Applied Research Centre.

 

Fig 31 .JPG

Fig.31. Maryland Street.

Fig 32 .JPG

Fig.32. The Maryland Centre, now Ad Action.

Rosie

The Maryland Centre is now Ad Action.

So the Maryland centre was focused on drug and alcohol dependency issues and they developed as part of their broader work with drug users safety and health outreach work with sex workers, with Lyn Matthews pioneering it, later there was a period when it wasn’t as active in the sex worker stuff, and so the Linx project complemented the work of Maryland and so the Linx Project was established, me, Kevin Wong, other folks got together to develop bids and then a whole team of people took on the delivery Jenni, Debbie and  Dominica.

IFig.33 MG_1790.JPG

Fig.33. Everyman Theatre.

Shelly

This is the new Everyman.  The home of much creative theatre.

Rosie

And some very emotional times when Unprotected was shown here.

Diane and she won’t mind me saying, Diane Parry went many nights it was on and it was a sort of therapy for her and in fact a group of students did it on the Wirral about three years ago and I met up with her and we watched it. It was great, but here it was professional actors and actresses.

Shelly

And we brought a lot of the women didn’t we to see it as well.

Shelly

I had D with me because she was on her crutches after jumping out of that window when she got raped.

Rosie

And she was kept against her will you know and she jumped to get away.

Shelly

Fifty foot.

Rosie

She thought she would be killed. Now it was this lady who found Anne Marie’s body.

IFig 34 MG_1813.JPG

Fig.34. View across the field to the black fence.

Shelly

It’s full of magpies here, this field. A lot of women used to work this road, it’s an overspill from Crown Street,  and there used to be, as we say, a little ‘pull-in’ there where we used to park on a Saturday and Friday, but this field was really dangerous.  They’ve cut a lot of the trees down now Rosie haven’t they.

But it was really bushy like that so a lot of women would go in there to do business and get into trouble in there too,  and we had one woman who was raped in  there and she tried to climb over, you see the black fence at the back?

Shelly

That’s the police station.

So she tried to  clamber over the back, and he was actually done for a hate crime as well as a rape.

Shelly

So I think it was the only one so far that’s actually been prosecuted for a hate crime.

Doing outreach and feeling safe

Rosie

Oh I feel at home here, we’ve talked about that, but  I really feel at home, not just in the city but in this area and on the beat.

So we’ve brought you over about half a mile and you know women even in the mid-90s were already working on Grove Street which is up there and here on Crown Street and then when we were working together, in 2006 at Armistead, this area was worked too.

Fig 35 .JPG

Fig.35. Crown Street.

Rosie

It was busy and at the heart of the beat, and it became what I negotiated to be the area of lesser chance of arrest, that area started at the lights here and we were going to take you to where it ended.

It is not a huge space, but it gave some opportunity and a bit of respite and took the heat off and that was when we had those debates and that ethos of policing for safety.  And Merseyside Police had taken various shifts in their thinking because of the whole load of murders, ongoing, there’d been progressive work with Linx Project I have to say Linx had some cases in court too.

Shelly

And they’d had a couple hadn’t they, they’d had one and there was one major case I remember.

Rosie

Yes oh with Blunn, Maggie he was a security guard, security staff at a place.

Yes and the woman who had been attacked previously by him got out of the boot of his car.  So whether he thought she was dead and  he had not closed that boot properly and near the  Old Swan which is further over there,  she managed to push that boot open and literally fell out in the road.

Shelly

Yes and there was an old couple behind and nearly killed them off didn’t she.

Rosie

Yes but were then very supportive you know obviously they were very concerned and phoned the police immediately

Shelly

Yes but she was the third woman.

Jane ended up with a metal plate in her skull.

Fig 36 IMG_1815.JPG

Fig.36. Crown Place. University Campus.

Rosie

Yes, so we’re  now in the university campus .  There is a nursery on that side as well,. I’d had some meetings with the manager you know and staff had nipped in sometimes and there was a bit of a community development thing we’d do. And we would see how people were and if they’d had any issues,  so they were always very supportive.

Shelly

Here both sides from the nursery to the lights I recent years the Eastern European women worked.

Like the other women we’re seeing, the migrants are working for money for their families and sending money home.

Yes sometimes they do  tour as well l they’ll move around to other cities and do a month in like Scotland and so they’re moving around a bit.

Rosie

And this is why we’re finding that the police, with the new focuses around modern slavery and trafficking,  want to suss out is there some element of control or not with migrants.

Shelly

Yes but there’s been no evidence of that with our women yet,  but they keep digging.

IFig.37 MG_1834.JPG

Fig.37. Rosie and Shelly at the former outreach support site.

Shelly

So this was our road wasn’t it Rosie.

Rosie

So the road was not there in connection with Edge Lane it was there, it’s these buildings have only gone up the last couple of years.

There’s been mega investment,  but the conversations, the things people have shared with us, here and the laughs.  I always remember the quickest blow job in history.

Shelly

Yes over there.

Rosie

When I saw a lady and she said

Shelly

Because this was all grass.

Rosie

And she went and she disappeared and we had literally just wandered down and she was back again, oh ‘did he not want business’ she said ‘no it’s all over ‘and we were all joking that’s the quickest blow job in history.

Shelly

Yes because this was all grass and they used to do business there you know and there was trees, loads of trees.

Rosie

And people sharing stuff with us, yes and I remember well all sorts,  I just think of the hundreds of people we’ve spoken to, just to catch up with their lives.  I remember a lady who was beauty therapy trained telling me the best nail varnish tips, just here, I’m just remembering this amazing conversation with her.

Yes and also counselling me on my love life, but many things, and we would park and you could stay here.

Fig 38 IMG_1838.JPG

Fig.38. Walking in the former outreach site.

Shelly

Shall we walk through?  Yes and we’d park where that bench is.

Rosie

Yes it’s hard to get the bearings when it’s so changed so much, and when I was a student I did a minor in psychology for the first year, we had lectures in there, how weird is that.

Shelly

And we had a couple of women got into trouble in there didn’t they with, when they went to do business.

Yes so they’d nip off into this, this was all like trees and a big car park.

Rosie

Yes and empty at night, empty at night.

Shelly

Two sisters  were doing business where there was all bushes there.

Rosie

Oh there was a scream.

Shelly

And we’d just seen them hadn’t we and she’s going Rosie!  Shelly!  And we were like ‘who’s that’?  And then we realised it was coming out of the bushes.

Shelly

So we run over and there was this fella was kicking the fuck out of her.

Rosie

Yes oh you’ve just reminded me of another thing.

Shelly

Yes, do you remember?

Rosie

I do Shel and you’re reminding me of the night after Anne Marie was found in there me and Shel went on outreach. It was just one of those strange nights on outreach and a few people in projects say this after a murder it’s a very, you sense it and it’s one of those.  There were, three incidents happened in one night, it’s a night  we won’t ever forget, it’s as if ok regulars stay away and because people come down, the voyeurs come down, the haters come down.

So we were here and two young men were on that side of the road giving it and they went ‘you fucking dirty whore supporters’ at us and there’d been a murder the night before.

So we went we’re calling the police now, there was a temporary police station there. The same night we were with a woman and a man

Shelly

She legged him, she legged him down there.

Rosie

Oh yes, oh yes, I wasn’t letting him get away.   We phoned the police

But it was one of them, we know this was unusual, because the police were here, there was a temporary station here, and no one would think of doing this normally while the woman was stood with us, he was drunk and he came up to us and her and like he was right at her, ‘give us that fucking money back’ and all this and so we went ‘I’m calling the police’ again I mean honestly this was a crazy night, and then I said he started to move off and I went ‘are you all right there Shell’ and I ran to the Police station. I rang them and I then ran there because it would be quicker to tell them than waiting through there and then they got him up there and took him in.

There were after this initiatives to encourage reporting  and we saw this sea change and women would see us on outreach and if something had just happened they’d go to us, ‘call now, call now’.  There was one incident on Crown Street I’ll never forget  and you really saw this absolute sense of entitlement to protection that was there, it’s great to see that.

Shelly

Yes absolutely and the thing was as well they gave us the number of the front desk so we didn’t even have to phone like 999 we’d just phone the front desk.

Shelly

Is this the bench?

Rosie

It would have been this space.

Shelly

The car would be here. Here, we’d be here wouldn’t we.

IFig 39 MG_1824.JPG

Fig.39. Looking to where the little wall was.

Shelly

So this here now is a kind of dead space that would be the clinic, the old vet clinic. And there was the little wall outside wasn’t there Rosie and quite a lot of women would sit there.

Rosie

Oh I loved it there.

Shelly

And we’d sit  with them on the wall and talk you know you’d talk about everything.

Rosie

It was just great the wall, the wall and in the research interviews a woman who had not been out for literally fifteen years, a woman who we worked with on a rape case Shell she tells about when she came out and she saw the police came down and she ran and ran to the wall.

Shell

She jumped behind the wall.

Rosie

And the other women went ‘what are you doing’?  We’re alright now, they don’t arrest us’.

Rosie

There’s a fancy vet building now,  So they’ve clearly been re-housed there.

Shell

There was just a little one here and that was the back of it where you put your stuff out there and then this was the front. And the wall was literally there like a low wall.

Rosie

So this area is still worked and obviously down there is Crown Street and the number of times we’ve been up and down that street. I felt totally at home on that street at 3/4am in the morning.

Shelly

Yes, no problem at all. We used to park didn’t we and walk it. Especially in the summer.

Rosie

Well I remember in an interview here with a lady in a fur jacket and us in jeans and our trackie gear and stuff and the fellow going ‘and what about her,’ we reckoned he had a trackie fetish.

Shelly

And I was approached by the vets. I had this bloody coat on like a duvet down to nearly me feet like a big quilt.

Rosie

That duvet coat, oh Shell you’ve just reminded me one of the hardest moments was here.  So two young women there, we’d worked with them. It was not Christmas Eve, the day before Christmas Eve, we were doing an outreach, there was a young woman a white/British young woman and a British Asian young woman they would have been nineteen/twenty at the time.

Fig 40 .JPG

Fig.40. Place where the two young women were found.

Shelly

Yes they would have been about that.

Rosie

We knew one of the young women years before, there had been safeguarding stuff  and they  couldn’t get a place to stay

Well we met them there.

Shelly

We phoned every hostel. And no one would take them.

Rosie

No I mean we knew the score you know and we had certain arrangements with certain hostels.

Shelly

Yes the floors were full and everything, the chairs were full.

Rosie

It was shit and it was the closest we’d come to stuff that we’d get sacked for. Which was taking people home and you know really

Shelly

It was up to the step in snow.

Rosie

Not right in terms of vulnerability.  It was snowing. It was snowing and you know me and Shelly are not shy you know we get pretty forceful with  advocacy with some of these people in provisions but I mean we did leave with a situation where they could present in the morning at one place. But it wasn’t good.

Shell

It was heartbreaking.

Rosie

And we are always aware weren’t we of how lucky we were you know because in this sector we’ve met lots of people who were homeless, vulnerably housed,  but we were proper upset when we left.

Shelly

Yes we sat in the car crying.

Rosie

But you know and feeling failures because , we can pull out the stops with advocacy, it was really hard.

Shelly

Yes because we tried everything.

Rosie

Yes so they would have been able to get somewhere in the morning but it was you know. And the cold weather.

It was awful and they have to make emergency provision when it’s been cold for so many nights.  I was just doing the odd outreach after I’d left the project when  provisions were brought in,  and going to see some folks just sleeping on the chapel there, a chapel where a couple of years before  we attended the funeral of one of our service users baby that had died at birth. Her baby died and we went to the funeral  and in that same chapel as the funeral of the baby there was like about thirty people, men and women on the floor. Shell

it’s got to be minus two for three days or something before they open the chapel.

So all this used to be really high as well the bushes here and the women used to nip behind.

Rosie

Loads and we’d just go ‘well we’ll come back and finish that conversation’

Anne Marie

Rosie

And that’s where they would do business and there were various attacks and we’re going to where Anne Marie was found.

It’s very sci-fi here…

Rosie

So this is as it was.  Shall we go to this bus stop Shell?

Shelly

Yes let’s go to our bus stop.

Fig 41 IMG_1849.JPG

Fig.41. Shelly and Rosie’s Bus Stop.

Rosie

We must have spent days in these bus stops so it would be great to have a picture there.

Fig 42 IMG_1850.JPG

Fig.42. A Place of memory and support.

Shelly

This bus stop used to be two lampposts up. And they moved it yes and that one used to be further here. But yes this was our bus stop Rosie, I love this bus stop.

Rosie

I never thought I’d say that in me life!  I love this.Oh yes it’s the Liverpool University Team (van passes).

Shelly

And do you remember B the university police officer?

Rosie

Yes, yes well I interviewed him.

Shelly

If they saw trouble for the  women they’d be on them (people targeting the women) you know.

Rosie

And they supported the police and they intervened a couple of times they were the first responders in effect.

Shelly

I remember some fella getting me, do you remember, the fella who was the police officer.

Rosie

Yes.

Shelly

Oh yes, well it was here, we were here, it was this bus stop but when it was down there and he kicked off because we were talking to the women. And then he was like in my face and he started pushing me.  He’s going ‘don’t you know who I am?’  And I was like  ‘I don’t give a flying fig who you are’, and he goes ‘I’m a police officer’ and I said ‘well you’ve just killed yourself’.

Rosie

With Armistead, we would take any issues  to the Chief inspector responsible for this area, there would be action, you know dressings down or formal action, well it would be recorded, it was all formal.

Shelly

When the police came to him he was shoving me around,  he wouldn’t get in the car, he’s like spread-eagled not getting in the car. Yes and we had to go and do statements and all that and then he lost his job.

Rosie

And so the majority of officers got the message who worked this area and they knew of the Armistead Centre, there was obviously various trainings we did as well.  They were told what the policy approach was and who the sex work liaison officers were, usually based at St Anne Street, where many of the officers who patrolled this area were, but it was great because anyone whose attitude wasn’t good when they first approached us, because it’s absolutely right they should be able to approach and say ‘why are you in this area’ would be dealt with.

Rosie

I’m reminded Shell of an incident where we were on outreach and we were giving out this trial of these alarms. That gave off a blue spray on to the attacker as well as the sound.

Shelly

It turned into like a sticky foam didn’t it. And it would like harden like and when you pulled it off it would take you an hour to pull it off. And then you’d be like a Smurf, you’d be bright blue, your skin would be blue for days.

[Laughter]

Rosie

So right we’d not long given them out and then we get a call on the ISVA phone.  A woman was in custody, she was taken by two constables and this was possibly an offensive weapon. Cheryl Rhodes one of the then sex work liaison officers  who was such a professional, was on duty, called down to the desk because the woman was saying Armistead have just given it me you know, it’s an alarm,  and Cheryl straight away addressed the situation.

Shelly

The police had paid for them!

 IFig 43 MG_1855.JPG

Fig.43. Site where Anne Marie was found.

Shelly

So where those doors are there with the fire exits that’s where Anne Marie’s body was found in 2005, it was bushes then. So she was literally this far away, six/seven foot away from the road. And she’d been murdered there and left there.

So we’ve had two trials for her murder but neither one of them have been successful.

Her murder is officially still unsolved and we still have contact with her family.  We did not want the tree cut down because a lot of the women used that tree as a focal point and there was lots of like teddies and flowers and things around the tree. We  used to go there every year didn’t we Rosie and pin white ribbons to the tree, one for every woman that we lost.

And the family members would come you know and stuff like that but they had to obviously take the tree down because of the development of this building . So what they’ve done is there’s a little tree in the corner over there,  and there’s not a plaque or anything there it’s just a tree, so that’s Anne Marie’s new tree.

Rosie

It’s for Anne Marie’s family you know and Shelly was with them  in court and that tested you.

Shelly

Nine weeks in court

Rosie

I remember at the end of the trail I was trying to get hold of you, you went under the radar

Shelly

I burned out. It was difficult to live through that.

Rosie

But at the time Anne Marie was murdered we were a new project at that point, it really was a real horrible reminder of,  we want this to end,  this is what we don’t want and we now want to improve our  working with the police.

Shelly

And then we had this relative period of stability and safety and so on until last year when we had another one of our women murdered last year,  Maxine, she was murdered off Sheil Road. We had known Maxine from the beginning.

Rosie

Yes and Anne Marie, me and Shelly we’d seen her on outreach on the Wednesday.

Shelly

She died on Friday.

Rosie

Yes and she had been exited for some time and she’d returned hadn’t she, she had good relations with her kids, and a great woman and the city was totally moved.

Shelly

It was really sad.  So shall we walk down to her tree?

Shelly

I said to myself that’s it, no more now,  that’s it, it’s got to stop.

Rosie

Yes it had come for me with Sharon some years earlier obviously and then that with Pauline and Hanane but it just reaffirmed massively the height of hostility to sex workers , and a major change was needed.  Then there was a mobile police station based down here.

Shelly

I remember that night taking the young woman we met in the snow, for her to give a statement in the little mobile police station.

Rosie

And we had some of the loveliest people in the major incident team, who had earlier  worked with the Linx Project and they did things like take Jenny, Dominica and me and  explained the murder enquiry process and it really helped the outreach team to support the women through the process.

IFig 44 MG_1871.JPG

Fig.44. Looking towards the hospital.

Rosie

That is the hospital over there. Yes so we have visited people in hospital and  we have been in rooms with people and seen people working.  We have been many times to all sorts of situations with people some who were  very poorly, and people went on to die and people who mostly recovered but you know we had some losses there didn’t we.

IFig 45 MG_1857.JPG

Fig.45. The Hospital.

Shelly

Yes so when it was M and I on outreach and it was five to two and you know we were finishing at two o’clock. It was always the same, don’t asked me  why, and  we pulled up near the bus stop with G She was this lovely, lovely young woman but she  had serious mental health issues because of her abuse, she’d been so badly abused.

So we pulled up, ‘hiya sweetheart, you all right , can we give you some condoms, do you want a cup of tea’ and she just went’ I’ve had enough, I’m going to end it’  and then  I think, here we go, I’m going to have to ring the mental health crisis team,  and she self harms in front of us. We drove her to the Royal.  She did survive that but she killed herself last year.

Rosie

Yes and we had a situation further up, where we probably won’t make, on Sheil Road where a woman, a woman we’d not met before, we were very concerned, we were getting conflicting stories, she didn’t seem to know the area and you know we were trying to talk her through, trying to find more out about her, what we could offer her and where she was at and some quick safety stuff.  She left and there was a note on the backseat I’m going to kill myself so we had to obviously call the Mental health crisis team.

Shelly

And do you remember when V she got stabbed? And then it was me and M. The women had told us about two weeks after Anne Marie that someone had  been murdered tonight.  Again me and M, always the blood with me and M, Yes so we, we rang the police and they said  ‘no, no one’s been murdered but there has been a stabbing and she’s been taken to the Royal’.  So we fly down here to the Royal and it was V and we go in and they said she’s critical you know she’s been, she’s got a punctured lung.

Yes but she survived thank God and she’s fine.

Rosie

There was a fence there before Maggie, quite a tall fence and there’s this woman who we know to this day and she’s not working now an amazing woman and she was one of the early cases that went to court. And she told her story in court and really, when she spoke ‘ I may be a drug user, I may be a sex worker but I’ve got the same rights’.  She had two kids and her husband died, he was her soul mate and he died and then she got very unwell, she just fell apart and took heroin to sort of mask and self-medicate, then she  lost the kids. She worked in a number of places, but we knew her, she was one of the people who we knew so well.

Rosie

Anyway she had a number of physical conditions and mobility issues and we were chatting, and  we’ll never forget it and then she said oh there’s someone I don’t want to see I’ve got to get off, and then she just scaled this fence.

Fig 46 MG_1864.JPG

Fig.46. Flowers in memorial.

Shelly

Look, they’ve brought all the flowers from the tree.

Rosie

Yes let’s go and see the tree because this is

IFig 48 MG_1870.JPG

Fig.47. Anne Marie’s memorial tree.

Rosie

One would hope they’d be fine for us, for people to come on the seventeenth December, end violence against sex workers day

Shelly

Yes I was just saying it is good to see the grass is kept cut and everything.

Fig 47 .JPG

Fig.48. Rosie and Shelly in front of the memorial tree.

Shelly

They’ve like kept it gorgeous and oh, it just makes my heart-break when I think.  Oh look and there’s a rose-bush for her as well.

Rosie

It’s so important to remember but as well there’s a sadness, we’re a bit obviously anxious about the support available in Liverpool. Liverpool since 1980s, has been at the forefront with projects  and support it is appalling that the cuts are impacting and there hasn’t been an indoor project for some time.

Shelly

Our  vision was to have that house down there.

We close the walk and I say that it has been such a privilege to  walk with Rosie and Shelly, to  hear about their shared history. This is a history I have known something about, in part, for many years and specifically the research Rosie conducted in Liverpool as well as  their combined contribution to advance the  safety of sex workers and address violence against women. The walk had enriched my understanding of their work , their working biographies linked to Liverpool, the history of responses to sex work in Liverpool and intersectional understanding of sexual violence and sex work.

Shelly

Oh no the privilege is ours I’m telling you.

Rosie

Well Maggie to do it with you is a great pleasure because we know there’s lots we don’t have to explain because you understand.

Shelly

Yes, talking about criminalisation Rosie do you remember that fella we got arrested out of there? There  was a man going round and putting ether over the women’s faces. And he would want them to be like dead. Yes and the Police traced him anyway and he went to prison.

We retrace our steps back to Rosie’s car and drop Shelly home before Rosie takes me to the station.

Rosie and Shelly say

For us both the walk has been highly meaningful being together (which we don’t get to be as often now) reflecting on places, people and times shared, on struggles, trauma and achievements. It has been highly poignant, sharing such intense memories of people and place we cherish.

It was an incredible walk, I had learned a lot more about Liverpool, the sequence of events that had led to the Merseyside Hate Crime Approach and the important relationships and work that had been undertaken there by so many people.  

The absolute tenacity and action based research and practice undertaken by Rosie and Shelly needs to be documented,  but at the same time, the poignancy of this history is that in current times, despite the Merseyside model of policing and National Ugly Mugs, resources are depleted in Liverpool and that can only mean one thing, a reduced service and level of support for women selling sex on and off street.

In the light of the stories told in this walk, the National Policing Strategy on Sex Work,  the interim  report of the Home Affairs Committee, calls from a variety of  organisations, and a now large body of evidence from academic research, I sincerely hope that  policy move in the direction of decriminalisation in order to advance the safety of the women working in Merseyside and across the UK.

 

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