Greetings from The Slave Detective,
It appears that at long last questions are being asked of The Metropolitan Police Human Exploitation Unit SCD9, formally known as Clubs and Vice.
It is something I have been banging on about for some time. Even today whilst talking to Sussex Police about their drive against Human Trafficking, ‘Operation THAMES’, I was asked if I had been part of SCD9. I may have used a four letter word in my reply but I was measured in explaining that The Human Trafficking Team from 2006 to 2010 that I was part of had no ties or resemblance to the current team and their poor performance.
So when today The Guardian’ printed and article from The Mayors Office stating that The New ‘Elite’ team had been widely criticized for ”heavy handed approach to brothel raids and of failing to find trafficking victims” I felt at last someone was challenging this units poor performance and draconian practices.
The Human Trafficking Team that I helped establish was set up because the Clubs and Vice were failing victims. Now two years on, after handing this unit back the responsibility of this fast growing complex crime, they have failed. There was a huge outcry when The Unit was shut down.
Richard Martin, the then lead of Clubs and Vice staked his reputation on SCD9 taking over the reigns. He must now fall on his rusty sword and instead of being overly promoted, as he is, he must be brought to task.
The sadness of this whole story must be though how many victims have been missed through this poorly thought out strategy? How many lives continue to be a misery because the team that were described by the Home Affairs Select Committee on the 14th May 2009 as ‘The Centre of Excellence when dealing with victims of Human Trafficking,” was disbanded?
Nothing is going to bring back The Unit. The expertise has been scattered. The damage done. Bring back dedicated Detectives dealing properly with serious organised crime.
Something though has to be done about those who put their necks on the line and not only closed The Human Trafficking Team, but refused to keep their expertise in this field.
While listening to an address by Sussex Police today they referred to South Wales Police leading the fight in the UK, setting the standards for dealing with Human Trafficking. How sad it is that in 2008 The Metropolitan Police were the ones who other forces turned to because they were setting the standards of how to investigate Human Trafficking and how victim focused investigations were the way forward.
So today I raise my clapping hands to The Mayor of London’s Office that they at long last are challenging their ‘Elite Team’. I take no pleasure in being proved right by The Mayor of London. I just want an effective response to this terrible crime.
I look forward to reading the response from The Powers that be in The Met.