Working girls on the streets of Bradford’s red light district have told how they are undeterred from prostitution despite the vice-girl killings.

The ‘trade’ has gradually started to return to the area over the last week.

Stephen Griffiths was arrested two weeks ago at his third- floor flat at Holmfield Court, Thornton Road.

He has been charged with the murders of Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth.

When news of the women’s disappearances broke, the streets were eerily quiet, but there is now evidence of women and kerb-crawlers returning to the Sunbridge Road area.

One prostitute – strolling along the streets this weekend talking on a mobile phone, wearing boots, carrying a handbag and an umbrella, and with her hair tied back in a pony tail – said: “I knew all of them. Shelley wouldn’t have gone without a fight.

“I’ve had Shelley’s boyfriend living with me for a few days. I don’t think it has hit home with him yet.”

She said many of the girls had adjusted the way they go about seeking custom in an attempt to remove the uncertainty that comes with being picked up by unknown punters.

“I’m just seeing my regulars,” the woman said.

“I am meeting them on the street. Normally now I just stand waiting for the usual to come and I go to the car to them.”

She said she had a punter waiting nearby.

A short distance away, another vice-girl, in similar attire and wearing little make-up, said she had worked the streets of Bradford during the prolonged reign of terror inflicted by the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, three decades ago.

She said the atmosphere, while tense, felt different because an arrest had been made earlier this time.

“Of course you feel scared and obviously it makes you more guarded,” she said.

“But I’m not doing anything differently.

“I’ve been coming out here and doing this for years.

“You get a vibe when you walk over to a car. Any nonsense and I’m off.

“I won’t stand for them swearing or anything like that.”

She said she was 48 years old and had a teenage son to think about.

“These people, they think because you work the street you’re not a human being. But we’re not here in the pouring rain and six foot of snow for the good of our health.

“Everyone thinks we’re all doing this for the drugs but it’s not all about that. I’m out here because I’ve got no money to pay for gas or electric.

“You’re either out here because you’ve got a habit or you’ve got to get some money for some food for the kids.

“We’re human beings and I’ve got kids. My son can’t get a job. Employers just ask ‘have you got any work experience?’ “We have all got a reason and we’re not going out robbing people. We’re providing a service.

“All these MPs say ‘arrest the punters, lock them up’, but we’re out here because we have to. We’ll just move on to somewhere else.”

She said she was devastated for the families of the victims and while she was scared for her own safety it would not stop her or other girls from going about their business.

“It’s well wrong what’s happened. Of course you feel scared and obviously it makes you more guarded.”

But she said a degree of confidence had returned since an arrest was made.

“The lasses feel easier now,” she said.

“I was working the streets when the Ripper was here. He drove past me.”

On the subject of the three alleged victims, she said: “Those girls were all normal like me. They were lovely lasses.

“I feel so sorry for the parents. No one deserves to die because of what we do.

“The killings are so sad but it won’t stop us coming out here.

“We all need it for genuine reasons.”