Top men face charges in vice net round-up (21.09.75)

News of the World, 21st September 1975

NOTW210975See also The Playland Cover-Up

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  1. Kate MacDonald said:

    Transcript:
    TOP MEN FACE CHARGES IN VICE NET ROUND-UP (News of the World, 21st September 1975)

    Dozens of arrests are expected after the Director of Public Prosecutions has acted on a detailed dossier on illegal homosexual activities.
    Some of the men involved are celebrated in show business, others are top names in the financial world.
    The arrests will come in the wake of a vice trial at the Old Bailey. Five men guilty of indecency offences involving boys will be sentenced tomorrow.
    At the core of the case is an amusement arcade called Playland, near Piccadilly Circus in London.
    Police have interviewed 152 boys, many of them “Johnny Go Home” runaways, whose search for the bright lights ended in enticement and male depravity.
    The vast investigation began 18 months ago. It was then that one of the men involved told me he wanted to co-operate with the police because he resented the way “some very big names” were taking advantage of young boys.
    The informant and I went to Commander David Helm, head of the West End Central police force.
    Watch was kept on Playland. And a network of vice was uncovered.
    Pressure was building up yesterday for the closure of Playland and any other arcades where perverts might prowl.
    Mr William Molloy, Labour MP for Ealing North, said: “The Old Bailey trial points to the need for immediate co-operation between local authorities, the police and the managements of these arcades.”
    If this was not given, the arcades must be closed, he said.
    The licences of Playland and six other arcades are to be reviewed by Westminster City Council’s licensing sub-committee on Friday.

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