Andrew Boff asks Mayor why £500k was wasted on an alleged increase in trafficking which never took place during Olympics
Andrew Boff, London Assembly Member will ask the Mayor why the Metropolitan Police was given half a million pounds in response to a misguided view that sex trafficking would increase during the Olympics.
Andrew Boff speaking before the London Assembly Policing Plenary said,
“Before the 2012 Games there was a great deal of hype around the idea that the Olympics would open the flood gates to sex trafficked women. Yet there was no evidence to support these claims. And now I have data that confirms that these fears were misplaced and there was no increase in prostitution or human trafficking*.
“Yet a huge amount of time, money and resources was poured into this search, which turned out to be nothing more than tilting at windmills: My report, Silence on Violence, found that significant police resources went into searching for these victims in brothels , with 80 brothels closed by police in Newham alone.
“Yet there were only 4 trafficking cases found in the last year. That means that trafficking resources were basically used to close down brothels with foreign women in them. I am sure Londoners would be puzzled to learn that the police arrested more people for prostitution-related offences than for knife offences.
“Human trafficking is a serious problem in London. But my fear is that police are focusing resources in the wrong places as a huge amount of trafficking happens outside the sex industry.”
*A Mayor’s written response confirmed that there were four trafficking cases recorded in 2011 and four cases recorded in 2012. However the Trafficking Unit received an extra £500,000 to tackle the supposed ‘increase’ in trafficking.