Met Human Trafficking Unit Forced to Close

// 10 November 2008

The anti-human trafficking team which successfully brought six sex traffickers to justice last week will be forced to disband following the withdrawal of government funding. The Metropolitan Police do not have sufficient funds to keep the unit running.

Really disappointing stuff.

We hardly need any reminder of the importance of the team’s work, but The Guardian has an interview with one of the women who appeared in court last week to testify against her traffickers.

Comments From You

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 10 November 2008 at 3:22 pm

More double talk from the Labour government – yes they ‘care’ about women and girls being bought and sold by men for men’s sexual pleasure and entertainment. But this ‘care’ does not go so far as to continue funding a small dept. within the London metropolitan Police force. So ask yourselves why? Could it be the force have been too successful in charging male traffickers with prostitution and female sexual slavery? Or could it simply be economics again which means women’s lives and rights can be ignored because other issues are more important. Christine Beddoe director of End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking UK (ECAP) said the Met’s unit is the only specialist one in the country and its mandate stretches from beyond London. So, this demonstrates how important labour and then Home office consider Trafficking in Females for the purpose of sexual exploitation is. It is zero. Note it is never human trafficking that is another gender neutral term designed to hide the reality is overwhelmingly women and girls who are being tricked and coerced into sexual slavery and it is men who are the ones fuelling this demand. Trafficking is never a gender-neutral issue but rather is one which is about women’s and girls’ oppression and the immense profits male traffickers and their accomplices make by providing females so that male buyers can enact their so-called male privileges and ‘rights.’

Amelia // Posted 10 November 2008 at 9:43 pm

I read something in the paper on the Tube today about how the Met police chief has been replaced since Boris Johnson became the Mayor of London – does anyone know if this change of leadership has any relation to a sudden cut in funding for a necessary but long-undervalued department?

tomhulley // Posted 21 January 2009 at 2:48 pm

Long time since Laura’s posting but I just received a letter from my MP.

She copied a letter to her from Alan Campbell MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (at the Home Office). He said:

‘Following discussions with the Met police we have decided to provide funding for 2009/10 to allow the team to continue its work whilst allowing time for the Met to mainstream the work of the team into its existing budget from 1 April 2010.

‘I should point out that this team is just one part of the Met’s wider commitment to tackling organised immigration crime, including human trafficking and other resources targeting these illegal activities on a daily basis include local borough policing, Operations Maxim, Swale, Golf, Paladin Child and the work of the Clubs and Vice Unit.

‘I can assure you that the commitment of the government and the Met to combat this horrendous crime will continue undiminished.’

(the letter was signed by Meg Hillier above his name).

So let’s hold them to it!

Best wishes, Tom.

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