Police renew pleas over missing girls
POLICE last night told prostitutes they have “nothing to fear” by providing information about the disappearance of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams.The assurance came in response to calls from the English Collective of Prostitutes for a “prosecution amnesty” to be declared.
POLICE last night told prostitutes they have “nothing to fear” by providing information about the disappearance of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams.
The assurance came in response to calls from the English Collective of Prostitutes for a “prosecution amnesty” to be declared.
Sarah Walker, spokeswoman for the body, said: “We're very concerned about what has happened.
“I think the best thing for the police to do would be to call an amnesty as that would prove they are more interested in women's safety than prosecuting them.
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“This would encourage more people to come forward.”
But detective chief inspector David Skevington, of Suffolk police, said officers had no intention of pursuing convictions at the present time.
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“We want to speak to any of the girls who have been working as prostitutes, just as we want to speak to any members of the public who may have information, which could be vital to this investigation,” he said.
“Prostitutes who have information in relation to the disappearance of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams have nothing to fear by coming forward with information.”
Yesterday, police revealed they are investigating a sighting of Miss Adams at about 1.15am on Wednesday in West End Road.
Extra high visibilities patrols were carried out on Wednesday night in and around the area where she was known to work in Ipswich. Officers spoke to around 100 people and were last night probing possible new lines of inquiry.
Ms Walker believes the disappearance of the two women could boost their calls for the world's oldest trade to be decriminalised.
She said this would put a stop to women having to ply their trade in dark back streets and allow them to operate in regulated brothels.
Hannah Besley, chair of the Ipswich prostitutes steering committee, said work was constantly being done to make life safer for those walking the streets.
A New Hope Project is run by the church every Tuesday. This sees church volunteers tour the town's red light district offering advice to those working in the red light district.
A drugs outreach team also operates every Thursday, from 9pm to midnight, offering help to women and handing out personal attack alarms.
Up to 30 prostitutes are thought to operate in the town's red light area, which includes parts of London Road, Burlington Road, Portman Road and Handford Road.
Although the disappearance of Miss Nicol and Miss Adams has highlighted the dangers of the trade, prostitutes have always been exposed to such risks.
One of the most notorious cases involving ladies of the night surrounds the murders carried out by Jack the Ripper in the White Chapel area of London in 1888. His victims were prostitutes.
In Suffolk, the disappearance of another prostitute has still not been resolved. Mandy Duncan, a mother-of-two, was last seen alive at 11pm on July 2, 1993. The 26-year-old Woodbridge woman was feared to have been kidnapped.
More recently, Ipswich prostitute Cara Martin-Brown was beaten to death by Darren Brown, of Alderman Road in the town.
The 25-year-old, of Hawthorn Drive, was murdered in Alderman Road in December 2003.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Miss Nicol and Miss Adams is asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613538 or Crime stoppers on 0800 555111.