Greetings from The Slave Detective,
Today in the UK a report has been published that looked at the epidemic of Child Exploitation that has been identified in Manchester.
PLEASE LET THAT NOT BE THE CASE!!
Speaking to my old colleagues in London’s Metropolitan Police, they tell me that the child protection units are expanding every day. Those in charge are finding it tough to recruit detectives willing and competent to investigate this type of crime.
If Child exploitation is ‘The Norm’ in Manchester you can be assured London will not be very different.
At the same time New Scotland Yard, which is part of The Metropolitan Police Service in London, who had the label of being the centre of excellence in dealing with Human Trafficking in the UK (Home Affairs select committee report see point 76,77,-82-85, 170, 183, conclusion 15 2009) is reducing it’s involvement in Human Trafficking.
The Clubs and Vice Unit which took on trafficking reports when The Human Trafficking Team was closed in 2010, has now been disbanded. The responsibility for investigation of Human Trafficking has been handed to The Kidnap Unit at Scotland Yard.
In some ways this may be a good thing. The Kidnap Unit is a well established elite team that do a fantastic job in dealing with the many kidnaps London deals with. I worked with them in 2003-2006 and the public would be amazed how many kidnaps happen and the clear up rate that is achieved by this team.
But the Kidnap team is a very busy unit dealing with these complex investigations already. Will they be able to raise the prosecution level to that of the old Human Trafficking Team or will they achieve the relatively poor results that Kevin Hylands Team achieved from 2010 to present day?
There is no doubt in my mind that Human Trafficking continues at the same high rate as when I investigated it from 2006 – 2010.
One of the places I have shared my knowledge with is the community in Tennessee in The USA.
The awareness there continues to be raised and if you watch this link, passed to me by my old chums at Finding Justice, you will see that this relatively quiet, peaceful community is seeing trafficking increase. Watch the video from End Slavery Tennessee (who I don’t believe I have met?) which relates true stories of children who have been trafficked in their area.
With London being it’s usual hive of activity I doubt Human Traffickers have given up and gone home. Once again they will be rubbing their hands that no one is looking at them.
Those that are trying to stem the flow of child exploitation and other serious crime in London are being overwhelmed with caseloads.
It is a good thing that ECPAT www.ecpat.org.uk are still around and last night celebrated 20yrs of working for Children. ECPAT UK has been instrumental in raising awareness in government of the plight of children trafficked into the UK for both sexual exploitation and for exploitative labour.
There are still many gaps in policy and practice that need urgent attention.