The Oldest Profession




News of raids, prosecutions, robberies, assaults etc from the world of punting


Police Are Using the 'Pop-Up Brothels' Scare for Propaganda

Published in The Vice
10th March 2017

"Pop-up brothels" full of trafficked women are sweeping the country, according to a spate of recent reports. In Newquay, police say they've located 14 since July (reported by the Guardian, BBC, Daily Mail, Mirror); in Swindon there are said to be 30 opening a week (Telegraph, BBC, Metro).

The Sun recapped the stories like this: "The majority of working girls in the pop-up brothels have been trafficked from Eastern Europe, and some of them are kept as slaves." (The link from "slaves" goes to a story about labour slavery run by traveller gangs.)

The tale – valiant but kindly cops, the suggestion of women chained to radiators – with its trendy packaging in hipster terminology has been guzzled up by the press. Basic fact-checking, meanwhile, is absent from the reports.

According to National Crime Agency statistics, in the last 12 months recorded, Devon and Cornwall police have made just one referral for sex trafficking to the National Referral Mechanism (the government channel to identify and support victims of trafficking in the UK), and that was for an underage girl from the UK. Meanwhile, seven men (from Romania, Vietnam and Lithuania), one woman and one girl (both from Vietnam) had been referred for labour exploitation.

In all the newspaper reports, the focus was on sex trafficking. "Insp Dave Meredith, sector inspector for Newquay, has concerns that sex workers from central and eastern Europe may have been trafficked into the UK by organised gangs," claimed the Guardian.

However, Meredith admitted to VICE: "We haven't managed to locate any traffickers as a direct result of visiting pop-up brothels."


Police to increase patrols in the Rosary Road area of Norwich following complaints anti-social behaviour and prostitution

Published in The Eastern Daily Press
10th March 2017

Police will be carrying out targeted patrols in the Rosary Road area of Norwich tonight and over the weekend to address residents’ concerns. It comes following a number of complaints received within the last 24-hours concerning incidents of anti-social behaviour and prostitution.

Anyone committing anti-social behaviour will be issued with a direction to leave notice, which prevents them from returning to a specified area for 48-hours.

In a bid to address concerns, dispersal authority has been granted for the Thorpe Hamlet area, covering Rosary Road, which gives police officers powers to issue direction to leave notices to anyone acting in an anti-social manner.

Sergeant Mark Shepherd said: “This dispersal authority will run until Sunday evening and allows officers to issue direction to leave notices immediately without getting authority from a supervising officer.

“This means we can deal with incidents promptly and effectively and anyone refusing to leave, or anyone who breaches the order, will be arrested. I hope this action provides further reassurance to residents living in the Rosary Road area that we are responding to concerns about anti-social behaviour within the community.”

Evidence from alleged victims in Sheffield child prostitution trial called into question

Published in The Sheffield Star
10th March 2017

The accounts of two young girls who were allegedly pimped out by a child prostitution gang leader are 'a million miles from the truth', Sheffield Crown Court was told this morning. Amanda Spencer, previously of Canklow Road, Canklow, Rotherham is alleged to have pimped out two young girls, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons, in Sheffield between 2009 and 2012.

Spencer pimped Girl A, who was aged between 15 and 16-years-old at the time of the offending, to more than 50 men, it is alleged.  The 25-year-old also faces charges relating to Girl D, who she allegedly sold to another defendant in this trial, Christopher Whiteley, on at least four occasions and pocketed the money in each instance.

The jury was told how Spencer was previously convicted of 16 offences relating to child prostitution in Sheffield in 2014.

In his closing defence speech to the jury, Amanda Spencer's barrister Dermot Hughes said: "You know she's been in the dock before. I ask you not to be blinded by that. She is on trial for these offences, not what's happened in the past. As for the case of Girl D. She [Amanda] says she doesn't really know her but says 'I didn't force her to do anything with Christopher Whiteley or any unknown man.

"With Girl A things are slightly different and she says 'if things have happened to Girl A, they are nothing to do with me'."  "As much as anything you should consider not just what was said, but how it was said.

"Were they reliable? Was what they said consistent? Was what they were saying incredible? Were they [the prosecution] working to make conclusions?  The prosecution don't concede that anything any of these complainants are saying could be wrong. It's black and white.