During the time I worked in
Then there was Neville. He dressed like a tramp but he was a successful businessman with a bookie’s shop and a pub. He drove a Mercedes and kept the glove compartment well stocked with cigarettes, cannabis and sweets. His modus operandi was to make friends with the older women first, win their confidence, and then access their younger friends or their daughters. He was known to the police but nobody had ever complained.
I heard the stories about the parties and the young girls he shared with his sleazy friends but there was nothing I could do.
You’re sitting on a goldmine girl!
The saddest thing was that the likes of Neville would often get an older girl to chat the newbies into it. He'd provide the lift. But if there was any trouble he'd just drive off and leave the girl or girls stranded. And if those young women were lucky the police found them and brought them back and when that happened it was me or my colleagues who listened to them as they told us the stories of what had happened, how scared they were and how little, if anything, they got for what they did.
Of course it's the current news from Ipswich that has got me thinking about this. Joan Smith of the Guardian has a good perspective on the way the media is dealing with the story.