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Council chief says Blackburn massage parlour ‘absolutely unacceptable’
A MASSAGE parlour with a raunchy website is ‘absolutely unacceptable’ for Blackburn town centre, the council’s leader has said.
Concerns have been raised about Raffles in Lower Cockcroft after it launched a new-look internet site which includes a list of 13 women photographed in their underwear with their faces obscured.
Among those featured is a woman called Zoe who is described as an ‘impressive 34DD’. The site says: “Zoe oozes sex appeal and is warm and friendly. Specialises B-Z and has toys and outfits.”
Another woman is described as offering ‘a full girlfriend experience’ while a 20-year-old is said to be: “Our little pocket blonde. Does specialise and kisses and cuddles.”
The parlour is one of five operated across Lancashire by the same owner, and other services include a dungeon and ‘two girls at once’.
Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen council, said: “I was not aware that this place was operating in our town centre and I think it is absolutely unacceptable.
“It is certainly not fair on the business around it and does nothing for the reputation of the town centre.”
A nearby business owner said: “I knew that it was here but haven’t had any problems with the girls themselves.
“You see them going in and out but they don’t cause trouble.
“The only problem is that there are a lot of drunks and drug users hanging around and between a pub at one end of the street and a massage parlour at the other, it really lowers the tone of this part of town.”
The website adds: “We are always on the look out for girls who are committed to their work.
“If you believe in putting the customer first, are a good listener and are willing to travel to our branches, just give us a ring and we will arrange to meet you."
A spokeswoman for the nearby Age UK shop said: “The drunk men that hang around are more problematic than the girls themselves but it is just wrong for them to advertise to young girls in the area who may have problems or not know what they’re getting into.”
The website describes the Blackburn location as having ‘plenty of Pay & Display car parking nearby’.
It goes on to say, “this establishment has a full size four poster bed and lots of mirrors in it’s opulent bedroom.”
The site said: “On our new web site you will be able to view our five branches in Lancashire.
“We have chosen some of our girls to feature on the website, but I am sure that our regular customers will realise that we have more girls working for us than are included here. (Sorry but the site can only be so big, and some of our girls are a little shy.)”
A police spokesman said: “We are aware of these premises and make regular checks to ensure that they are complying with the law, which we will continue to do.
“Any criminal offences that are reported to us, or that we become aware of, will be looked into.”
Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “These types of cases are notoriously difficult to investigate. It seems as though it is a matter for the police.”
Neil Cobb, a legal expert based at University of Manchester (Senior Lecturer in Law) said: “There have been proposals to legalise on the table in the past and I think that would be a step forward.
“Such places allow women to work together in a group and away from the streets.
“In my opinion they are far safer than leaving them vulnerable on the streets where they are more likely to be attacked.”
The Lancashire Telegraph visited the premises and a cleaner said it had been operating at the site for a number of years but the owner was unavailable for comment.
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