Prostitutes in Bradford have today assured their clients - or ‘johns’ as they are sometimes known – that they have returned to normal levels of exploitation and desperation, after the capture of serial killer Stephen Griffiths.
“We want sad middle-aged men eager to pay for sex to know that we are back out there,” says Nancy Taylor, a bright, articulate 29 year old trapped in a downward spiral of poverty and heroin addiction. “We understand how difficult the past few months must have been for them with so few women willing to risk their lives. Add to this the stress of having to knock one out on their own for fear of becoming a suspect and you realise they have been victims too.”
Brian Marshall, a 43 year old chartered surveyor from Shipley, says: “All it takes is one bad apple and suddenly the whole practice of getting a handjob from a sad-eyed young thing in a darkened car park takes on a sinister dimension.”
A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police says, “You would think that this case would have stirred up a righteous anger in people, and something would have been done to address the drug, alcohol or mental health problems that force many of these girls on the game. It hasn’t, of course.”
Local MP Anthony Clay says, “There is an argument that decriminalisation would make life safer for these women, provide counselling for their problems and helping them move out of the sex industry. But you can imagine what the moral majority would make of that, they’d crucify us.
“A more economically sound solution might be to reassess pricing within the overall whore marketplace. If we can drive up the costs of the most popular practices – hand, blow or full bareback – then there is a chance we could put it beyond the financial reach of the majority of socially awkward misfits and low-income homicidal misogynists. Fortunately we have enough judges, senior police officers, head teachers and lawyers already kerb-crawling on a regular basis to make such a system workable. And for those who just want to talk, we would be ensuring a better quality of conversation.”
A senior detective involved in the investigation, adds, “The important thing to remember is that all these women are someone’s daughter or someone’s mother, and it was their vulnerability that made them ripe for exploitation. In fact, I’m thinking of using that as the opening for the book I’m planning to write about the case.”