Spalding vicar shocked by sex demands revealed in new report

The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, with the Community Connectors report. SG030317-124TW
The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, with the Community Connectors report. SG030317-124TW
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Two women have revealed their landlords demanded sex, one claiming she was threatened with being kicked out unless she complied.

The incidents were disclosed anonymously by two east European women living in Spalding, although it’s not clear if they happened here. The disturbing cases feature in the new Community Connectors report.

The Vicar of Spalding, the Rev John Bennett, said: “I find it shocking. It makes me feel sad that people are capable of taking advantage of people in such vulnerable situations.”

A mum of two says her landlord would not issue a new tenancy contract in her name when her ex left.

She says: “He said if I needed anything from him, I would have to sleep with him.”

After the landlord started visiting late at night, demanding sex, and harassing her by text, the woman reported him to the police and claims “nothing was done about it”.

The woman moved away but says: “I would like the police to take my case seriously and make sure that my ex-landlord is not able to do such a thing to another vulnerable woman.”

After being threatened with being kicked out, the second woman was unsure whether to report it “as the police are not ones to trust in Latvia”.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “We recognise that some victims of abuse may be reluctant to seek help because their experiences of law enforcement in their home country mean they are unsure if they can trust the police.

“However, we cannot stress enough how seriously we take any form of sexual exploitation and there are strong support mechanisms in place to ensure victims receive the help and protection they need.”

The spokesman said sexual exploitation is also an aspect of Modern Day Slavery and there’s a helpline 08000 121 700.

• The Community Connectors report catalogues a string of incidents involving exploitation by landlords and bosses.

Mr Bennett says the report also shows an overriding need for migrant workers to be given more opportunities to learn English, which would benefit the whole community.

He says: “I hope that employers, schools, churches and voluntary organisations in Spalding can all commit to helping everyone speak English. I would like to encourage English at all times in the workplace and even for children to ask their parents to talk to them in English at home.”