Former prostitutes say they were lured into drugs "as young teenagers"
TWO former prostitutes have spoken about how they were lured into drugs and selling themselves as teenagers, but were rescued from life on the streets by police help.
Destiny, not her real name, said she was given drugs by a bad crowd.
"I started hanging around with the wrong people from about 13," she said. "They introduced me to heroin and bought me presents.
"There are children out there who it's happening to right now.
"People don't look at the bigger picture."
Cindy, also not her real name, is another former sex worker and says she would "probably be dead now", if she had not had the help of police.
She said: "I worked on the streets for 12 hours a day sometimes.
"I slept in car parks, on park benches, in the rain.
"It was no life at all. All you'd think of is where you're going to get the next fix, the next buzz."
She has praised the police for their help and has now turned her life around.
"When the police found me I was really ill. They just offered me help. I'd had enough. I went to the outreach worker and was admitted to hospital.
"They saved my life. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. Never lose hope because there's help available, light at the end of the tunnel."
Officers connected both with The Manor Project, a not-for-profit drug rehabilitation residential centre in Walsall.
Cindy is now free of drugs and alcohol and no longer involved in prostitution. Destiny, who is also making good progress, said people's perceptions need to be challenged.
"Drugs control you, control your life and I hated it," she said. "It made me feel dirty but there was nothing I could do about it."
Police have targeted prostitution in Barton and Tredworth for years and recently appointed PC Dawn Collings as the new vulnerable person's officer.
She said: "Many of the women are from broken homes and have been victims all their lives.
"They're preyed upon by men who shower them with gifts and introduce them to drugs so they end up working the streets to fund their habit.
"Often they might loathe police and it might take years to get them to engage with different agencies.
"We spend a lot of time trying to stop the situation getting to that point in the first place."
Robert Gregory, of The Manor Project, has praised Dawn's work.
He said: "There are too many agencies keeping people on drugs, but I think what the police are doing is unbelievable. Officers like Dawn Collings are angels. She's saving people's lives by picking up girls on the path to destruction."
Anyone with information about prostitution in Barton and Tredworth should dial 101 or call anonymously on 0800 555 111.http://oldestprof.com/index.php/crimewa ... -teenagers