Greetings from The Slave Detective,
This is one of those ‘blogs’ that I have been finding very hard to write.
I am afraid I have lost ‘the faith’ again.
Fear not! It is not with the TIP report………. even though it is at its most contentious at the moment challenging Russia and China.
No this is with the very recent report that The Metropolitan Police in London have once again ignore the victims of Human Trafficking.
Why? And what has this to do with The TIP report? What Curse?
The 2013 TIP report praised the actions of Operation PALADIN in the UK. They were not alone. I have praised this team many times and had the pleasure of working with this, much under pressure, unit.
This unit challenge Child Trafficking into London. Indeed they were the unit that exposed The Nigerian Child Trafficking and Chinese children being brought into Heathrow and surrendering to authorities.
This scam meant that children boarded flight to London. They must have been accompanied but when they arrived in the UK they were alone. The authorities placed them in a care facility only to find that a couple of weeks later they went missing. ‘Paladin’ recognised that 44 Chinese children don’t just happen to do the same thing. Their pressure closed this gap!
So it is with a heavy heart that I tell you my October 2012 prediction has come true.
In a sweeping move it was GONE.
It happened so quickly that some of the unit presented themselves for work as usual only to find that the unit had closed without their knowledge.
It also strange that this has gone completely un-reported!
All this after PALADIN was once again highlighted in the 2013 TIP report on the UK:-
The government continued to work in partnership with NGOs and other stakeholders to increase protection for child trafficking victims. The government reported a total of 372 potential child trafficking victims referred to the NRM in 2012. During the year, the joint agency team of police and border officials working on children’s safety issues, known as the Paladin team, continued to advise on child protection matters at London’s airports and investigated potential child trafficking cases in 2012. The Paladin team also trained airline staff during the year to recognize indicators of child trafficking.
So do I find it strange that the Metropolitan Police want to close such a prolific team?
They of course closed The Human Trafficking Team in 2010, entrusting trafficking to a Vice Unit that has failed to perform previously. The Human Trafficking Team that was recognised three years in a row by The TIP Report as a centre of excellence.
Fear not though as I believe that this vice unit is next for the chop. Just as they were getting their act together.
The new proposal means that the Child Protection Unit (that had OP PALADIN as part of their wing) is to merge with the ‘Rape Command – Specialist Crime Command number 2 (SCD2).
I suspect that the unit that investigates Human Trafficking (SCD9 or SC&O9 – as they are now called) will also be merged into this team.
This will mean that not only will the ‘Child Specialists’ be gone but also the ‘Rape Specialist’ and the Trafficking Knowledge. They will go into one pot.
All these specialist roles will be History at a stroke of an accountants pen.
This seems very strange just when all the recent trafficking reports call for ‘Specialist’ knowledge and roles as the answer to trafficking.
I just can not believe there is no accountability at a senior management level.
I’m sure there is a clever answer awaiting any questions as to this move but, as a practitioner, this is only a very bad thing for Trafficking Victims, whether adult or child.
It isn’t good for the 5% of Rape Victims that see a prosecution for their allegation.
This only means bad things for victims NO MATTER HOW THIS IS ‘SPUN’
Once again I see the victim being the last consideration.
It makes me weep with frustration!
But then I’m not a trafficked person and have my freedom. I’m lucky I don’t need to rely on specialist detectives.