The Home Office Affairs Select Committee on 14th May 2009 produced it’s long awaited report. It highly praised the POPPY project, The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) and The Metropolitan Police Human Trafficking Team.
“A number of agencies in the UK — for example, the Metropolitan Police Human Trafficking Unit and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority — are recognised internationally as examples of best practice in detecting and rescuing victims, but we need to greatly improve our understanding of the problem. We need reliable information about the scale of the problem to be able to assign resources in the proper direction, and crucially we need much better training for the agencies and officials who deal with trafficking, both on the front line and in the criminal justice and immigration systems.”
Now in 2011 The POPPY Project and The HTT are no longer funded. POPPY survives, just, but the Metropolitan Police have now re-entrusted their Human Trafficking issues with the very unit The Human Trafficking Team replaced. It maybe re-badged but their results have regressed significantly as have the MPS figures for dealing with the problem. No amout of spin can cover that.
The HTT with 9 dedicated specialists suscessfully prosecuted 26% of all Human Traffick cases IN THE UK. The results are measured from 2004. The unit was only established in 2007!!
So why did the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the UK Government allow this specialised unit to close?
Every NGO objected.
It is too late to recreate this amazing team again but there is no reason why the new unit shouldn’t be called to account for its poor performance! Is there?