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Page last updated at 10:57 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 11:57 UK
Shock in Bradford as murder investigation continues
Police at the scene in Shipley
Police investigations are continuing in Bradford into the killings

As the suspected murders of three Bradford women are investigated, the city is coming to terms with being in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

The women had all been working as sex workers in Bradford and detectives are now looking at links to other unsolved murders in the city.

The news of the deaths has caused a great deal of shock.

Sheila Wilson, who knew one of the missing women, says: "It's been a very upsetting and unnerving time."

Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth were all working as prostitutes in the Bradford area and all of them had gone missing.

Remains found in the River Aire have been confirmed by police as those of Suzanne Blamires. They were recovered from the river in Shipley on Tuesday 25 May after being found by a member of the public.

Sheila Wilson, who is a volunteer at Sunbridge Road Mission in Bradford, is in close contact with many street workers in the city and she knew Shelley Armitage.

A women working as a prostitute
Prostitutes are often vulnerable to crime and violence

She says: "Obviously we're all very shocked and upset. Those of us who know the girls personally feel very upset.

"We know her boyfriend as well and we know how upset he's been."

Ms Wilson says prostitutes are always facing danger: "Women working in prostitution are very vulnerable.

"They do have regular men but that doesn't alter the fact that they are standing on street corners, and that is scary.

"They don't know who's going to pick them up so that is scary, too."

Sajawal Hussain is councillor for the Bradford City ward. He believes people living in the area have been deeply affected by recent tragic developments.

He says: "I would say people are shocked and very, very sad.

"After all, these women were human beings and what has happened to them should not have happened to them.

"The general feeling is one of sympathy for the families of the girls concerned.

"And, as ward councillor, the foremost thing I would like to say is that my sympathies and condolences are with the families."

These women are obviously desperate and need some money for their addictions
Qasim Khan, Manningham councillor

His sentiments are echoed by Qasim Khan, who is councillor for the Manningham ward where one of the missing women, Susan Rushworth, lived.

He says: "It's a sad loss of life."

But councillor Khan believes that prostitution on the streets of Bradford is less of an issue than it once was.

He says: "It's no more of a major problem than in any other major city in the UK, to be honest. Things have generally improved.

"There is still a small number of women going out there, but it's not fashionable to be a prostitute.

"These women are obviously desperate and need some money for their addictions. It's very sad."




SEE ALSO
City 'shocked' by women's deaths
27 May 10 |  Bradford and West Yorkshire
Body parts are of missing woman
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Murders police quiz 'PhD student'
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Man quizzed over women's murders
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Remains found in search for woman
26 May 10 |  Bradford and West Yorkshire

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