Tuesday, March 13, 2007

About time

A new police team has been set up to target people who traffick women to the UK. The police team, have acknowledged that a more effective approach is needed. It is a start, but I wonder at what point they decided things needed to change.

Detective Superintendent Mark Ponting from the Metropolitan Police said as much as £8,000 could change hands for women who are brought into Britain and sold as prostitutes.

He is responsible for the overall strategy of the new Human Trafficking Team which will co-ordinate the Met’s efforts to stamp out the practice. Det Supt Ponting was heavily involved in last year’s Operation Pentameter, which removed 84 victims from human trafficking in a series of raids across the country.

Quotes from New police team to target sex slave gangs by the Birmingham post.

Sheffield is leading the way, with a human trafficking centre coordinating investigations all over the UK.

Police are appealing to punters.

He added: "Punters are sometimes their only contact with the outside world, so they are an important source of intelligence for us.

"There have been a number of instances where punters have actually brought victims into police stations to help.

"I see the punters as key partners in terms of gathering intelligence. We want people to get the message that many women working in prostitution are there against their will.

"If you go into a brothel you will be offered the services of women across the globe and it is a fair guess that not all those women are there of their own free will.

Quotes from New sex trafficking squad set up by Lifestyle Extra.

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They might want to start by setting up a free hotline so that anyone can make an anonymous report of any suspected sex-slavery.

They should then require all brothels, er... massage establishments to voluntarily prominently display a poster with this number.

Punters could then be asked to report any establishment that did not display the number for consideration for investigation.
Hi James,

At the moment you can call Crimestoppers in this country, and remain anonymously.

Punternet have something here,


so that punters can report something they feel is suspicious.
I hope more of these kind men report if they think the woman is there against her will. It probably takes a bit of courage, but with time, I hope more word gets out and people feel safe doing so.

Wish there was something like this in the States.
Hi Gillette,

Thank you for your comments. I hope so too. If they are guaranteed anonymity, I think it helps.
Yes, but you need to make sure that all the girls who are working in massage parlors have access to this number too, and maybe that means that the poster has to be in different languages. Also a dedicated number for the purpose makes sure that the complaint goes direct to the special team and not just to the desk sergeant at the local bobby shop.

Crimestoppers in the UK is actually a charity and although the information on its Web site is very thin, I do not see anything about a guaranteed response within a certain time frame. It talks vaguely of bringing matters to the attention of "the authorities", but there does not seem to be much accountability there.

Also the Crimestoppers Web site says "Our call operators are not allowed to let the police know anything about you which may reveal your identity, e.g. if the call is about a neighbour of yours we will not disclose this. We don’t even make a note of your gender" so this seems like it would not be very helpful for a girl calling to say that she is being held involuntarily.
I recently watched the Frontline documentary Sex Slaves, about trafficking focused mainly on poor women from Eastern Europe. Some women do know they are going overseas to work in brothels, but there are a disturbing many who do not. And that is the intention of their traffickers for two reasons. One is obvious, to keep all the money they make off these slaves.

The other reason, a point which PBS didn't dare touch, but if you watch the documentary with eyes wide open you'll understand, is to meet a demand for RAPE. Face it. It's not just the rare sicko, there's a whole market for rape that these kinds of traffickers cater to. They WANT a girl who doesn't know. The johns WANT a girl who isn't willing, who will struggle against him while he forces her to do things and beats her. They get off on that and they'll pay somebody to let them do it in a place that's safe for them. I think ANYBODY who visits brothels stocked with women from poor countries overseas should be aware of this. Good for those few punters who went to the police to give tips about the treatment of women there. But I suspect most of the guys who visit a place like that are in the market for rape and are part of the problem, not the solution. Sad, but face it.

Thank you for your comments. That demand for rape, is turning my stomach. It is outrageous.

I am glad that there are some punters out there, that will report.
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