Slaves, neglected children... They remain hidden so long because care more about life on TV than what goes on in our own street

Police officers stand outside flats in Brixton, south London, where three women were allegedly held as slaves for at least 30 years
Police officers stand outside flats in Brixton, south London, where three women were allegedly held as slaves for at least 30 years
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Three women have been kept in slavery for 30 years in a nondescript flat in London and we’re stunned that it could happen, in this day and age.

We demand answers from Social Services, as we do when a child, like Hamzah khan, lies dead for years in a house of squalor, or is killed by a violent parent. When three kidnapped women are found living as prisoners in the basement of a house in the very same U.S. neighbourhood they were spirited away from ten years before, we’re incredulous. How come no one knew?

Maybe because we close our front doors on life beyond our doorsteps and switch on the TV to nosey into other people’s lives on screen.

We can’t get enough reality TV, we know every cough and spit of what’s going on in the lives of characters in our favourite soaps and we’re quick to join in the mass comment on social media and online blogs. Yet we have no idea what could be happening to a baby three doors down from us.

We don’t make the lives of real people in our own community any of our business. Often it’s for fear of getting it wrong and landing someone innocent in trouble. But it’s also because we’re too busy living our own lives to think about it.

Bring back the backyard busybodies and garden fence gossips, I say.