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.