The 63rd issue of Zi Teng Newsletter
Since the serial killing of several sex workers a decade ago, the police have been trying to improve the information exchange with sex workers concern groups. For instance, they will meet with the groups, exchanging information about the working situation of sex workers and how frontline police officers execute the duties, send out sex workers-as-victims crime information, sometimes they will remind the groups with social media about the new and emerging form of crimes, and organize occasional visits for the groups so as to let sex workers and outreach workers understand the work of police, avoiding mutual misunderstanding as well.

We are always happy that the police are willing to develop better communication with sex workers. Nevertheless, after attending the meetings and participating in the visits, all of our colleagues did think that the police do not really want to better the communication with sex workers. Some of them even felt so disappointed and burst into tears after recent meetings and visits. For example, when they asked questions, the police agent said he would not give any answer as the visit was not aimed to answer enquiries. When our colleagues described how some frontline police officers disregarded the cases of sex workers, the police representatives stated that their coworkers would base on the actual circumstance and handle each case accordingly. ‘Potential neglect of duty’ was misinterpreted by the police representatives as ‘different decision based on actual situation’. Seeing the above police attitudes, how can our colleagues believe that the police want to better the communication between frontline officers and sex workers?

As the police have taken a step forward and developed communication with sex workers concern groups, why not to remove further the bureaucratic attitudes we see at the meetings and visits, make better use of the linkages to facilitate more effective exchange of information? In this case, sex workers can gradually understand that the police management really hopes to improve frontline police officers’ communication with sex workers, and avoid further misunderstanding.

  ▶  The 63rd issue of Zi Teng Newsletter