Town prostitution service advertised on the internet
TWO websites - which list details of prostitutes and how to contact them - are putting Portadown on the map for all the wrong reasons.
The town is one of the areas listed on a site which advertises the sexual services of prostitutes across Ireland.
The site has two links for the Armagh area - Portadown Honnies and Lurgan Stunners - both of which contain graphic pictures and telephone numbers to contact the women.
The Portadown link advertises the services of four girls while there are three for the Lurgan area.
Other links give contact numbers and details for 'Banbridge Babes', Newry Angels' and 'Belfast Stunners'.
Another website, which concentrates just on Northern Ireland, advertises the services of 'Armagh Babes' and 'Craigavon Models' among others, again with contact numbers and payments details included.
Its main page states, "All agencies listed on the website are situated in the city centres and it is easy and convenient to find. Each apartment is in a safe and discrete location..."
The 'Craigavon Models' link says it provides 'international beauties from Colombia, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Cuba, Venezuela and many more'.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Annagh Residents' Association Colin Watson, said he had been raising the issue of prostitution in the Annagh area with police over the past 10 months.
He said, "I have lived here for 25 years and it has only become a problem in the past four or five years. It is a major worry for residents, both older people and those with families.
"One of our committee members has noticed activity in Coronation Street, with girls coming and going, and I myself saw two girls mid-way down Thomas Street getting in and out of cars."
In the interests of investigative journalism, a Sunday Life reporter telephoned the Portadown Honnies number and was directed to a house in Coronation Street. And a Lurgan Mail journalist who tried the Lurgan number was directed to meet one of the women at a location in the Brownstown Road/Armagh Road area.
Mr Watson added, "Local people are moving out of the Annagh area. The residents are concerned that the prostitution could lead to drugs and racketeering and that the area will become a den for this type of anti-social activity. Multiple occupancy is also causing problems with general unruliness and untidiness. We want to see the area restored."
Upper Bann MP David Simpson, who this week met with police commanders for the Craigavon District to discuss the issue, said the existence of the websites confirmed reports he had received that brothels were operating in the Craigavon area.
"What these websites also seem to confirm is that there is a high level of co-ordination going on and that these operations are being managed from a central source."
A PSNI spokesman said, "Police can confirm that they have received reports relating to allegations of prostitution. These reports are taken seriously and investigated. This has resulted in police action in some cases.
DO YOU HAVE A VIEW ON THIS STORY? TEXT THE PORTADOWN TIMES at 81800. Begin your message with PTTEXT and then a space. Texts should be no longer than 25 words, include your name if you wish However, some of the allegations have proved to be without foundation.
“Police will continue to conduct investigations where such matters come to their attention. Anyone with information should contact their local police on 0845 600 8000 or pass information anonymously on 0800 555111.”
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Monday 27 May 2013
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