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Croydon Guardian vows to investigate controversial adverts

The Croydon Guardian has vowed to investigate all complaints about its advertising for adult services in the paper.

The move was highlighted in an editorial piece alongside a splash about the fast-growing sex trafficking industry in the town.

Editor Andrew Parkes said the paper had set up a campaign with local group Croydon Community Against Trafficking.

The group claims that brothel numbers in Croydon have increased by 30 per cent in the last 12 months.

He said: “The Croydon Guardian, like lots of other newspapers, has been accused of facilitating this appalling phenomenon by taking advertisements under the heading of adult services.

“But taking ads from massage parlours, chat lines and other such places is not a black and white issue.

“There are people who choose to offer certain services who act entirely within the law – and we are legally obliged to accept and publish such advertisements.

“We do, however, work very closely with all interested organisations, including the police, and if anyone has evidence of any advertiser acting outside the law they should contact us immediately.

“Where concerns are raised about particular adverts, we will do our utmost to investigate and where appropriate they will be stopped.”

The move comes in the wake of the South Wales Echo being accused of hypocrisy after running adverts for massage parlours which had been exposed in the front of the paper as allegedly being part of the sex industry.

The Echo cited a study by Amnesty International which claimed up to 60 women, brought to the UK as part of the sex trade, were working in Cardiff.

Welsh Assembly member Lynne Neagle spotted classified adverts in the same edition for adult massage.

Three of the parlours advertising services were also referred to in the editorial story.

Harriet Harman, minister for women and equality, met last week with the Newspaper Society and senior representatives from the advertising industry to discuss how the problem could be combated.