Tuesday, October 24, 2017

British Police Not Tackling Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking - Report

Sputnik | Oct 24, 2017

© AP Photo/ Markus Schreiber
There are a number of serious flaws in police combatting modern slavery cases in the United Kingdom, which often leave perpetrators unpunished and their victims unprotected, a recent report by a British police watchdog has revealed.

"In the UK, today and every day, thousands of men, women and children, the victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are being degraded and dehumanized," Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) said in its study, adding that police forces are guilty of inconsistency and the identification of victims of such crimes as forced labor, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude.

HMIC investigators also said that police are not taking measures to quickly investigate abuses and warned that many victims may "never see justice."

 "The police have a crucial role to play in protecting these people and preventing offenders from exploiting others. While modern slavery cases can be complex and require significant manpower, many of the shortcomings in investigating these cases reflect deficiencies in basic policing practice," HM Inspector of Constabulary Wendy Williams, who led the investigation, told The Independent.

According to her, those deficiencies leave victims "unprotected" and perpetrators "free to continue to exploit people as commodities."

The report mentions several modern slavery related cases which expose serious deficiencies in police practice. In particular, among them are insufficient commitment to tackling such offenses, inconsistent sharing of information between police and outside agencies, the poor quality of investigations and insufficient coordination across police forces.Williams, however, said that there have been notable improvements in several regions of the UK by police to tack on this issue.

In 2014, the UK government estimated that there were between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of slavery in the country. However in August 2017, the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) reported that there could be "tens of thousands" victims in the United Kingdom.


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