Landlords offering ‘lodgings for sex’

Young people placed in bed and breakfast accommodation by councils are being targeted for sexual exploitation by landlords with histories as pimps, a major charity has claimed.

The national children’s charity, which does not wish to be named, runs a night service for young people who have been sexually exploited, and has dealt with four claims of rape against B&B owners in recent weeks.

Landlords are also seeking out young people on the streets and offering accommodation and food in exchange for sex. “The pimps and drug dealers of yesterday have started to become B&B landlords,” said a worker with the project.

Anthony Lawton, chief executive of Centrepoint, which has also campaigned against the use of B&Bs, said young people living in “unsafe, inappropriate and unsupported” accommodation were “often living in fear of violence or sexual advances”.

The government has said families with children should not be placed in B&Bs unless there is no other accommodation available, and it should not be used for longer than six weeks.

Research to be published soon by charity A National Voice will find 10 per cent of 300 care leavers it surveyed had been housed in a B&B and one-third felt unsafe there.

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