Media writers are to blame for spreading at least half the misconceptions about trafficking and the sex industry. The London Olympics are two years away but they loom. Prostitutes will flood Essex. Where does the reported ‘information’ come from? Not from any official or researcher but from a social-work campaigner. It’s irresponsible journalism. (I also find the term rape charity unpleasant.)
The other half of the blame goes to people like the campaigner quoted, head of a local rape crisis centre, who appears to want funding to take trips to foreign lands to do ‘research’ where none is necessary. We’ve just had ample and repeated research-based debunkings from South Africa about the threat of trafficking during the World Cup, and nothing happened in Vancouver, either – which this spokesperson admits, but then she cunningly claims the credit goes to people like herself who planned correctly. What nonsense.
Sarah Calkin, 30 July 2010, The Echo
Prostitutes are expected to flood south Essex during the 2012 Olympics, a rape charity has warned. With the opening ceremony of the Games now less than two years away, experts at the South Essex Rape and Crisis Centre have already begun investigating what can be done to discourage an influx of prostitutes and protect women from being trafficked into the area. Hundreds of athletes and spectators are expected to descend on the county to train and stay for the duration of the Games.
Sheila Coates, director of the centre, based in Thurrock, said: “Research has shown that during large sporting events, sex crime actually increases because of the large number of participants and a lot of people travelling from country to country. Sadly, pimps see that as a way of increasing their income and we will see women trafficked to the area. . . The centre is preparing to research the possible impact and take the necessary steps to mitigate the impact of any increase in sex trafficking and prostitution in the area. We are going to start looking at research available from the winter Olympics in Canada and the World Cup in South Africa to see what the impact may or may not be. In Vancouver it looks like it wasn’t as big a problem as anticipated because they planned for it and planned it out.”
A spokeswoman for Essex Police said the force had not been made aware of any expected problems.
And speaking of panicking-planning early, campaigners in Glasgow have already begun in regard to 2014’s Commonwealth Games.