And the lies about Operation Pentameter just keep on coming

Apparently we really do need to do something about the trafficking of sex slaves.

Campaigners against sex trafficking call today for a major crackdown on the thousands of brothels in Britain amid accusations that government indifference to the issue is encouraging pimps to target the UK.

But, umm, didn\’t we actually find out that the trafficking of sex slaves, while it is vile and real, is also minor?

Abigail Stepnitz, national co-ordinator for the Poppy Project support service, said police should urgently target the brothels masquerading as saunas, massage parlours and private flats. Almost 6,000 have been identified in England and Wales.

Stepnitz said: \”The focus on trafficking has been to remove immigration offenders or to prosecute organised criminal networks. From our experience the focus has not neccessarily been on addressing the presence of brothels that create an environment where trafficking can thrive. That has never been the focus.\”

But didn\’t we go and check all of this? Try to find out how many people were in fact trafficked into such brothels?

The last major crackdown, Operation Pentameter 2 in 2008, saw 822 premises visited and the arrest of more than 528 individuals.

Why, yes we did, didn\’t we.

And that\’s where the lies start. For the implication there is obviously that 528 people were arrested for trafficking. Which happens not to be quite right:

The analysis, produced by the police Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield and marked \”restricted\”, suggests there was a striking shortage of sex traffickers to be found in spite of six months of effort by all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together with the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish government, the Crown Prosecution Service and various NGOs in what was trumpeted as \”the largest ever police crackdown on human trafficking\”.

The analysis reveals that 10 of the 55 police forces never found anyone to arrest. And 122 of the 528 arrests announced by police never happened: they were wrongly recorded either through honest bureaucratic error or apparent deceit by forces trying to chalk up arrests which they had not made. Among the 406 real arrests, more than half of those arrested (230) were women, and most were never implicated in trafficking at all.

Of the 406 real arrests, 153 had been released weeks before the police announced the success of the operation: 106 of them without any charge at all and 47 after being cautioned for minor offences. Most of the remaining 253 were not accused of trafficking: 73 were charged with immigration breaches; 76 were eventually convicted of non-trafficking offences involving drugs, driving or management of a brothel; others died, absconded or disappeared off police records.

Although police described the operation as \”the culmination of months of planning and intelligence-gathering from all those stakeholders involved\”, the reality was that, during six months of national effort, they found only 96 people to arrest for trafficking, of whom 67 were charged.

Forty-seven of those never made it to court.

Only 22 people were finally prosecuted for trafficking, including two women who had originally been \”rescued\” as supposed victims. Seven of them were acquitted. The end result was that, after raiding 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours all over the UK, Pentameter finally convicted of trafficking a grand total of only 15 men and women.

Police claimed that Pentameter used the international definition of sex trafficking contained in the UN\’s Palermo protocol, which involves the use of coercion or deceit to transport an unwilling man or woman into prostitution. But, in reality, Pentameter used a very different definition, from the UK\’s 2003 Sexual Offences Act, which makes it an offence to transport a man or woman into prostitution even if this involves assisting a willing sex worker.

Internal police documents reveal that 10 of Pentameter\’s 15 convictions were of men and women who were jailed on the basis that there was no evidence of their coercing the prostitutes they had worked with. There were just five men who were convicted of importing women and forcing them to work as prostitutes. These genuinely were traffickers, but none of them was detected by Pentameter, although its investigations are still continuing.

Two of them — Zhen Xu and Fei Zhang — had been in custody since March 2007, a clear seven months before Pentameter started work in October 2007.

The other three,  Ali Arslan, Edward Facuna and Roman Pacan,  were arrested and charged as a result of an operation which began when a female victim went to police in April 2006, well over a year before Pentameter Two began, although the arrests were made while Pentameter was running.

I agree that trafficking in sex slaves is vile, should be stopped, that we have laws (not least those of rape and assault) with which to deal with them and that we should do so.

But I really do wish that the Poppy Project and all who sail in her (this includes the likes of Julie Bindel and Mrs. Dromey) would simply fuck off. I\’ve simply had enough with being lied to by those with an agenda.

Go on, hop it. Scram. Find something useful to do like make me a sammich. Or at least get with this masculine, patriarchal, shit like evidence instead of hormonal witterings.

3 thoughts on “And the lies about Operation Pentameter just keep on coming”

  1. And yet, despite that debunking appearing in the ‘Guardian’ itself, try pointing it out in any Julie Bindel CiF column; the mods will disappear your comment so fast, you’ll wonder if you really made it at all…

  2. Pingback: Hey DJ is doing UNIAP second round of human trafficking estimates competition….. Jeremy Clarkson style. | Kevin Burctoolla's gaming world

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