Southport’s station was like a desolate, block of flats built in communist Russia. It was the exact opposite of ‘inviting’, but what police station is?
“Can I help you?”
I bloody hoped so
“Yes please, I’ve got a crime to report but I’m unsure what crime it actually is”
Yes – I actually said that because I didn’t know, I had no idea what it was I was really reporting.
“Ok so what is it about?”
And then it came flooding out. All of it. I spoke at a million miles an hour handing her my gathered pieces of evidence with my hands doing their involuntary movements that they do whenever I am passionate. She looked exhausted by the end of my 5 minute spiel and I could tell she was totally out of her depth.
“Hold on one second can you please? I need to go and get someone else”
Yes, I’ll wait til next bloody year love here on this cold seat! I didn’t even care if I got piles like mum always said I would sitting on cold surfaces, I just wanted it to all end.
I waited for about 30 minutes in the grim waiting room that resembled the one from ‘Heartbeat’, it was small, grey and cold and looked like it hadn’t been updated since then matching its exterior perfectly. A male officer suddenly appeared with the female one who I had seen first.
“Hello, thanks for coming in today, can you just briefly explain whats gone on again?”
Again? I desperately tried not to forget all the important bits like the underage girls ‘R’ was pimping, the way he controlled us, the way he had made me become his slave for a few months until the day I went to hospital and met Rob. I told them about how he raped, abused, used and damaged us all and how he had been recruiting the young girls taking them to mansions owned by his ‘friends’ and got them drunk and drugged up so he could do whatever he wanted with them. I focused on the abuse he gave to the others more than myself, and looking back I think I ignored my own abuse because of the shame and guilt that I felt, the shame in admitting that I’d allowed that to happen to me, because someone like me should know better. I told them about the cash I deposited for him once a week and about the bugs in the flat and how he knew everything about us. I waved the work phone in their faces and the keys to the apartment. They were wide-eyed and kept looking at each other for reassurance. I took a breath and stopped, I hoped I’d remembered it all.
“Ok, thanks for that, now these sound like very serious allegations and unfortunately we won’t be able to deal with them right now, we’re going to have to refer these to a specialist team in Liverpool and then get them to get in touch with you, is that alright?”
“Yes, yes no problem, thank you, when will someone be in touch?”
“You can expect someone to call you tomorrow I’d say, with it being the New Year we have a few officers who are away so we will inform the right ones who as I said will be better placed to deal with this – its a too big for us here and as its going on in Liverpool we must get it to them”
“Right thank you, do you need me to leave the evidence I have?”
“We’ll take photocopies and then you can be off”
“Oh ok, thanks”
And just like that I’d done it. In fact, it felt a little bit of an anti-climax because they couldn’t do anything there and then. I don’t know what I expected – possibly them to get in their cars straight away with blue lights, sirens, helicopters and a SWAT team with dogs ? I left the concrete haven and walked home in the drizzly, January rain back to our little ‘set’. We affectionately called it a set ,but jokes aside you’d have had a job getting three badgers in there as it really was tiny. Rob was off to work that night and I felt terrified, all these crazy thoughts were swirling round in my head and I knew this was going to be a long journey. I’d been at ’24/7 Escorts’ (yes that was actually its name) 24/7 for nearly a year and now I had walked away from him and the girls, some of course who knew, but the ones who didn’t I’d given no explanation to. As I’ve said many times it was common for girls to go off the radar but not me; I was like the one constant in that place, always there, always obedient and always around to help the girls. I couldn’t bear to look at the work phone as it might make me feel guilty about what I’d done. I’d turned it off because I was so paranoid about ‘R’s’ technology skills and thought he’d have some tracker on the work phone that meant when it was turned on he’d find me. I’d also turned it off because any messages that came through that went unanswered by me would ring alarm bells which I didn’t want. I wanted to forget the whole thing and it made me so uncomfortable that on that first night I didn’t sleep a wink. I rang Robbie as much as I could and whispered down the phone like our flat was bugged – like a mad woman. I rammed a cabinet against the door to prevent anyone getting in should they try to and had all the lights on in the three tiny rooms that made up our set. I barely moved all nigh to minimise noise and had the TV on low so I could hear as much as possible. After all, the very first night we’d spent in our set there had been a guy with a baseball bat smashing doors down right outside ours. Rob kept reassuring me and telling me , I wanted to believe him but I just didn’t, he had to work, we couldn’t afford for him not to especially as my income had come to a standstill.
26 hours I had been awake, but this time I hadn’t taken a single thing to help me stay up, this time I was kept me awake through anxiety and fear and not shitty cut coke. On the 27th hour the police rang me, it was a woman who asked if she and her colleague could come out and see me that afternoon. Crikey that afternoon? Surely this was good, this was brilliant, I thought this would be my chance to ask for some form of police protection too.
I cleaned the set and opened the windows to get rid of the smell of stale smoke, if only I knew how to bake bread… 39p custard creams and mugs of tea would have to do. I did my makeup and tried my best to look presentable. Two female officers in plain clothing turned up, they looked like twins but they weren’t, mousy brown hair, medium build and both about 5’5. They were expressionless, listening intently and giving nothing away – no signs of shock or horror or a kind smile to say they were on side, no reassurance and certainly no warmth. Hmmmm it left me feeling a little odd, bemused and slightly used if I’m honest. When I had mentioned how scared I was at night they handed me a card for ‘Victim Support’. They dismissed the fact I felt I needed a panic button or some form of protection and informed me several times that I was a witness and NOT a victim. I felt confused, insulted and humiliated and the irony of the little white card they handed me just made me wonder what the hell the definition of a victim really was, I googled it when they left and I damn well was one. Oh well, they had told me that they now needed to pass this to the VICE and PPU (Public Protection Unit), I would need a video interview and they would be in touch to come and collect me to take me to the local station and I would need to be available for a few hours.
The thought of being video-interviewed made me feel sick, why were they making me do that if I wasn’t a victim?
Susie had text me, I felt awful ignoring her and I missed her. On New Years day I’d legged it for the first train home and forgotten my laptop. It was freaking me out that girls had been texting me but ‘R’ hadn’t once messaged me. That rang alarm bells because he clearly knew something was going on or did he? I suspected he did and I was sure he’d have a way of finding out. Was my set bugged or my phone? I had no idea but It worried me. I needed the laptop back as it was full to burst with evidence, photos of the crude amateur photo shoots ‘R’ had done of us girls in front of green screens he’d ordered on Ebay to appear more legit. He would make us do the seediest poses and wear the most unattractive, tacky, cheap outfits which I never understood why he chose them but when it came to the marketing of women he was a genius. There was never any class to it and every image was degrading and for his own pleasure. At the time the photo shoots were going on I’d begged not to have mine done because I didn’t trust him to not put them up all over the internet like he had done previously. ‘R’ told us all we were so lucky to have a pimp like him because he cared and he wanted ‘his girls’ getting the most work, we were lucky to have someone who knew all about SEO (search engine optimising) and how to market us. He told us other girls in other escort agencies were jealous of us and at the time we all genuinely believed him, we were conditioned to believe his every word. My laptop had the images on it because he’d sent them to me, he’d shown me how to photo-shop and It had been my job to do so getting them ready for various escort sites, I can tell you now seeing some of those images was awful, I felt embarrassed for us all. My laptop also contained images and details of the other flat he had fraudulently gotten for Norwegian Bex, it had images of the rooms from the site it had been advertised on and all her forged documents such as payslips and fake job offers. I NEEDED it back and so I had to break the news to Susie somehow so she could keep it safe until I could face that train journey.
At least it gave me something to worry about. Police had called again shortly after their two clones had been and now my video interview was tomorrow – I was shitting it.
Love Lo xxxx