The Guardian October 20 2009 The UK’s biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government ministries, specialist agencies and every police force in the country. The failure has been disclosed […]
Stories categorized “Prostitution”:
The Guardian October 20 2009 There is something familiar about the tide of misinformation which has swept through the subject of sex trafficking in the UK: it flows through exactly the same channels as the now notorious torrent of falsehood about Saddam Hussein’s weapons programmes. In the story of UK sex trafficking, the careful conclusions […]
The Guardian June 2008 When finally they caught him, it was a fluke. He had parked his lorry outside a football stadium in a small town in north-eastern Spain and he was waiting for dark to throw away the body of his latest victim. By sheer chance, a technician was installing a CCTV camera on […]
Guardian blog, December 2006 Everybody knows, of course, why those women sell themselves out on the streets of Ipswich – because they are heroin addicts. As the front page of the Guardian put it yesterday: “Pock-marked and painfully thin, they all bore the obvious signs of heroin and crack addiction … selling their bodies to […]
It is one of the lingering images of Victorian poverty: the little waif in a ragged dress standing in the lamplight in the foggy darkness of a city street waiting for the rich man in his carriage to buy her favours.
I was sitting in a crack house not far from Kings Cross station in the middle of London. There was Vinnie the pimp, with his bare chest and his cigarette; a skinny blonde prostitute called Beverley who was so broke that she was using margerine for make-up; and Heather, a pick-pocket, who was about to go off to work in the big department stores in the West End.
Story One –
It is an ordinary flat. The camera pans around the room catching sight of a bookshelf full of paperbacks, a desk which is untidy with letters and files, a couple of paintings on the wall, a chair or two, and then the doorway, the blank open doorway, and, as the camera waits, a man suddenly appears there. The only sound is the quiet crackle of the video tape.
The Anglican Cathedral of Liverpool is like a mountain. Its great brown bulk soars up over the life below and, high above the houses with the boards across their windows, beyond the sight of the shops with grids of steel across their glass, the summit of its spire is lost in the clouds of a grey English evening. It is the biggest Anglican church on the planet and, tonight, it will be full.
This is like walking down a very long corridor. At the beginning, it is brightly lit, as bold and brash as neon, but the further you penetrate, the dimmer it gets until you reach a point where it is so dark that it is only just possible to see and only just possible to believe what you are seeing.