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Durham e-Theses
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Not Getting Away With It: addressing violence against sex workers as hate crime in Merseyside

CAMPBELL, ROSEMARY (2016) Not Getting Away With It: addressing violence against sex workers as hate crime in Merseyside. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Abstract

Adopting a participatory approach, this thesis examines Merseyside Police’s treatment of violent and other crimes against sex workers as hate crime - through the lens of what is referred to as the ‘Merseyside hate crime approach’ The first academic study to do so, it describes the development of the approach and explores the key elements which constitute it. It proposes the approach is a banner encompassing a range of policing and partnership initiatives - not just the inclusion of sex workers in the force’s hate crime policy, but including, critically, a wider shift from enforcement to protection-focused policing and improved support for sex worker victims of crime. Based on analysis of data from interviews with 22 sex workers and 39 police officers, it reports support for the approach and the notion that sex workers can be victims of hate crime. It argues that sex workers’ experiences of victimisation fit a number of definitions of hate crime, straddling those foregrounding prejudice and those foregrounding the targeting of ‘perceived vulnerability’. As such they can be included as a hate crime group and there are tangible benefits for inclusion. However, the thesis asserts there is some way to go in fully integrating sex workers into hate crime procedures in Merseyside. It supports the further development of an inclusive model for understanding hate crime which includes non-established hate crime groups and recognises intersectionality. It argues that the hate crime approach to sex work is progressive - within the UK framework of the quasi-criminalisation of sex work, it offers a rights-based approach to addressing violence against sex workers. Nonetheless, it cautions the approach should not be seen as an end it itself in the regulation of sex work, with international research evidence pointing to decriminalisation as a more conducive framework to address crimes against sex workers.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:sex work, hate crime, violence, safety, policing
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Applied Social Sciences, School of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Feb 2017 16:43

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