Friday 21 November 2008

People trafficking and sex

I've only just noticed this courtesy of the excellent Steve Cooke. Jacquie Smith has dreamed up a unique approach to law enforcement. Penalise people who may be doing wrong but don't know it and stop pursuing people who are doing wrong and know they're doing wrong.

The daftness of her ideas on preventing people trafficking by criminalising paying for sex with controlled women - whether or not the payer is aware of the situation - has been exposed in many places. But is it not egregiously daft to do that while effectively closing down the only police unit in the country dedicated to combatting human trafficking? The Independent has the story and I quote:

"The Metropolitan Police's Human Trafficking Team will cease work next year because its budget has been withdrawn following the decision by the Home Office to cut its yearly funding for human trafficking investigations from £4m to £1.7m.

"Politicians and trafficking experts expressed anger at the Home Office's decision, saying it will leave a "gaping hole" in the policing of the crime. Privately, the police themselves are said to be furious about the decision.

"The Met's Human Trafficking Team was set up in March 2007 and was designed to actively target gangs who bring women to the UK as sex slaves and children as forced labourers. It is estimated that more than 4,000 people are currently in the UK as a result of having been trafficked.

"Britain is considered to be the destination of choice for gangs bringing women into the country from eastern Europe, China, Malaysia, Africa and South America to work in brothels.

"It is notoriously difficult to convict criminals for human trafficking, but as the only specialist operational team in the country, the Met's dedicated human trafficking centre had claimed a series of successes.

"News of the closure came as the unit claimed another major success last week which saw six sex traffickers jailed for a combined total of 52 years for deceiving a Slovakian teenager into a life of prostitution."

Should not the left hand have some vague idea what the right hand is doing?

No comments: