Threat to police trafficking unit attacked
Several leading charities today criticised plans to shut down a police unit dedicated to tackling human trafficking.
They have written to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson warning that disbanding his force's specialist team of officers would be a major blow to the fight against human trafficking.
Under the proposals, the trafficking unit's work would be passed on to the force's Clubs and Vice squad.
The charities, which include the NSPCC, Amnesty International, End Child Prostitution and Trafficking and the Poppy Project, say that specialist policing is needed to help victims who are trafficked for a variety reasons, including sex, forced labour, and domestic servitude.
In their letter, seen by the BBC, they say: "Human trafficking is a complex, sensitive issue.
"Given the continually evolving nature of the crime, it has taken the Human Trafficking Team and Non-Governmental Organisations working in the field a number of years to develop their expertise in the area.
"Policing trafficking for forced labour, domestic servitude and all other forms of exploitation requires specialist knowledge and understanding of trafficking, dedicated resources and commitment."
The charities also warned of a likely increase in the number of people trafficked into the UK in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: "The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has been conducting a review about our response to all organised immigration crime and trafficking.
"That review has not concluded but proposals have been shared with partners about a potential future operational response.
"This has yet to be ratified by the MPS Management Board but proposes that Clubs and Vice have enhanced resources and take over trafficking for sexual exploitation investigations from the Specialist Crime Directorate.
"They already have expertise in this area so it will be an extension of work they are already conducting.
"The review also proposes improved intelligence and co-ordination across all areas of trafficking and organised immigration crime."
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Isis 'A Message in Blood' video shows beheading of Kurdish man in Iraq
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
- < Previous
- Next >