Today, the National Police Chiefs' Council marks its continued fight against crimes committed towards sex workers.
In response, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson said:
"These women, and in some incidences men, risk their lives every day "working the street." The threats they face range from drug networks which may have some form of control over them; violent punters who are mainly complete strangers; and abusive partners who often have similar drug dependency issues.
"By its very nature, sex work is an issue that can be challenging for our communities and for Wiltshire Police; however it is the police's duty to protect those communities and sex workers are as much part of those as anyone else.
"In fact, they are one of the most vulnerable groups in our society and it is the police's job to protect them.
"Here, the police try to avoid arresting and actively prosecuting sex workers - it serves no purpose as they get a fine and then have to go back on to the street to pay it off. But police take a different approach with the punters. Our officers regularly work a variety of night time hours to actively seek punters in areas like Manchester Road in Swindon and prosecute as necessary.
"Protection can only be achieved by close co-operation. Fortunately in Wiltshire and Swindon there is a multi-agency approach involving probation, drug and alcohol recovery, adult safeguarding, sexual health and children's services.
"In the past I've given money to various projects which help support sex workers as well as working with the dedicated team of police officers who interact with these women daily to ensure their safety.
"I've met the team and spent some time on the beat with them; it never ceases to amaze me how dedicated and caring they are to these vulnerable women.
"A relationship is built and so a stronger intelligence picture is created so that police are able to implement measures to better protect people.
"The message is that we want sex workers to know that the police and our partner agencies will take their reports of violence seriously and they will be treated with respect and dignity.
"The ultimate aim is to help these women and men escape from the dismal situation in which they find themselves but until then awareness days like today will hopefully help raise the profile of a sex worker's plight to reduce the risk to them and possibly even save a life."