What prompted the Chief Constable of Essex to say this?
It followed a conversation that the coordinator of Southend Street Pastors had with a rough sleeper who had contacted the team to ask for a sleeping bag.
“He turned up at our base with a young girl claiming she was his daughter. We know this guy and he hasn’t ever mentioned a daughter so I was immediately suspicious.
“During the course of the conversation the girl told me she was 12 and had run away from her foster home the day before and slept in the rough sleeper’s tent on the Friday evening. They were planning to visit Edinburgh later that day.
“Many alarm bells rang during the course of this conversation, not least that she didn’t once call him ‘Dad’. The police eventually arrested him.”