'I'm a working girl - not a prostitute' - Massage parlour owner after raid
THE owner of a massage parlour has called on the police to let her run her business in peace.
The 60-year old, who likes to be known as 'Crystal', has been a masseur for nearly 20 years and runs Caress in Newcastle Street, Middleport. Three other women work from the same address.
On Monday, Staffordshire Police raided the premises, above.
Crystal was arrested on suspicion of managing a brothel and, after being held at the Northern Area Custody Facility in Etruria for four hours, was bailed pending further inquiries.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
She said: "I opened this place because I was so sick of working with scummy girls on drugs in other parlours.
"We offer a service to a different kind of clientele. We are decent, self-respecting women who are not on drugs. It's not dirty money and there's no pimp.
"I'm not a prostitute, prostitutes do this to get drugs. I'm a working girl and I do this to put food on the table.
"Men come here for something they are not getting at home.
"It's not a brothel, it's a massage parlour. I usually tell people I'm a receptionist or a home help."
Crystal has had the premises for 16 years. She pays rent, gas, electric and water bills and runs a website promoting the business.
She is originally from Yorkshire and used to work in the textile industry, but after searching for a job for years she turned to massage parlours.
The three other women who work from the parlour have not returned since the police raid. They are all over 40 and their customers normally pay between £30 and £60 per half hour depending on the service.
During the raid, Crystal's fancy dress outfits and toys were seized along with two mobile phones, personal mail, and more than £700 cash.
She said: "The police have got to let this place stay open, four women are off the dole and earning money and paying taxes because of this parlour.
"I enjoy my job. I'm usually a quiet person, but here I have a persona and I feel safe.
"The other girls are self-employed, I'm not coercing anyone.
"Before I did this job I was suicidal, depressed and prone to panic attacks, but this job has kept me sane.
"The police took all my outfits and toys. I'm fuming. I had a maid, a nurse, a school girl, loads of different things. The only costume they left was the police one.
"This is my job and I honestly thought they would leave me alone.
"The authorities need to move with the times and tackle the drugs and street prostitution where girls get attacked.
"This is a job with skills, people think it's all about sex but it's not.
"Customers need stress relief and I make sure they leave here with a smile. That's the difference between men and women.
"I go to bingo to relax, but men come here to get rid of their stress, it should be offered on the NHS."
More stories today: