Avon & Somerset officer recognised with national award

22 May 2018

Women in Policing winner

Winner PC Tina Newman (right), with national rep Sam Roberts (left) and Holly Lynch MP (centre)

An officer, who has worked tirelessly to help women trapped in street sex work, has been recognised with the national Women in Policing Award.

PC Tina Newman has helped transform attitudes towards sex workers. Twenty years ago, the attitude of the local community and police family was very different to what it is today. The women had no confidence in the police, with their vulnerabilities being misunderstood and misinterpreted. By building trust, Tina engaged with local community groups and became a role model for other police officers and staff.

Prior to the introduction of Independent Sexual Violence Advisers, PC Newman helped women through the initial report of rape, and through court appearances, which was pivotal in securing convictions against very dangerous offenders.

PC Newman has participated in regional and national consultations and initiatives, one of which was working on the Home Office consultation on the legislation used to manage prostitution.

As well as organising two operations which have tackled both on-street and off-street sex work, Tina has also been instrumental in a regular inter-agency perpetrator programme which has had a 93% success rate.

It is down to PC Newman’s encouragement and support that, many women are making changes to rebuild their self-esteem and ability to trust.

On receiving her award, PC Newman said: “My role has enabled me to support some incredible women when they have had to endure giving evidence in crown court, having been subjected to horrific sexual assaults.

“We help women know that they can trust the police, but also know that society will not tolerate such violence against them.

“Recognising the importance of raising awareness of the issues sex workers endure, I have been able to provide training to new recruits, colleagues and partner agencies. I hope the training gives people a better understanding and tolerance towards individuals.

“I am proud to have ‘played my part’ in the changes Avon and Somerset Constabulary have made to how we now police ‘on street’ prostitution in Bristol. The organisation now recognises sex workers' vulnerability and that they are victims. The standard practise of arresting women who loiter has stopped, and there is a much better understanding of all aspects of this activity and of all those involved and impacted upon.

“We have a true partnership approach, which I am very proud of.

"Finally, I would give a very special heartfelt thank you to the amazing support agency, ‘The One25’, who offer the most incredible support to women working on the streets of Bristol and a personal ‘thank you’ to Sgt Emma Slade who has a passion and drive that is infectious, and I am very privileged to have been able to work and be supported by."

Sam Roberts, our National Women’s Reserve Chair, said: “It was tough to have to choose a winner because all nominees have achieved so much, but Tina’s story stood about because the panel felt she had gone above and beyond what would be expected of a Police Constable.She works within a very difficult and sensitive field of policing.

"She is able to give a voice to those who are often overlooked. I congratulate her on winning this award and thank her for all her contribution to policing."