Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A load of Poppy cock

According to today’s Guardian, “the UK's biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.”


This outcome, the paper unsurprisingly suggests, indicates that “the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media….Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all.”


This huge and costly operation – known as ‘Pentameter Two – was hailed by former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith as “a great success”, and its head claimed that 528 arrests had been made. But an internal police analysis of Pentameter, obtained by the Guardian after a lengthy legal struggle, suggests there was a striking shortage of sex traffickers to be found, despite 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".


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. Only 22 people were finally prosecuted for trafficking. 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.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.


The head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre, Grahame Maxwell, who is chief constable of North Yorkshire, acknowledged the importance of the figures: "The facts speak for themselves. I'm not trying to argue with them in any shape or form," he said. He is commissioning fresh research to try to get a clearer picture of the scale of sex trafficking. "What we're trying to do is to get it gently back to some reality here," he said.


But a po-faced person from the Poppy Project – a Home Office funded agency set up in 2003 to combat the trafficking and abuse of women - sniffed defensively that “it is incredibly difficult to establish prevalence because of the undercover and potentially criminal nature of trafficking and also, we feel, because of the fear that many women have in coming forward."


‘Incredible’ is certainly the right word for the Home Office’s research estimate that there are 80,000 working prostitutes in the UK, and for Pentameter Two’s original claims that there are between 6,000 and 18,000 ‘sex slaves’ working in the UK – although their operation only led to 167 such persons being identified.


As a result of all the hullabaloo based upon these dodgy figures, Parliament is now in the final stages of passing the Policing and Crime Bill which contains a proposal penalise any man who has sex with a woman who is "controlled for gain", even if the man is genuinely ignorant of the control. Although the definition of "controlled" has been tightened, sex workers' groups complain that the clause will encourage women to prove that they are not being controlled by working alone on the streets or in a flat without a maid, thus making them more vulnerable to attack.


We have, of course, been here before. The Great Paedophile Panic originally stirred up by some hysterical paediatricians and a burgeoning ‘child protection industry’ which led to scandals such as the miscarriages of justice involved in some prosecutions of alleged offences – some dating back many years - at childrens’ homes, and the witch-hunts over what proved to be purely fantastic stories of ‘Satanic Child Abuse’, some of them resulting in years of agony and separation for blameless families, are still fresh in the memory.


One would think that the government would have learned some due caution from all of this, but there are evidently powerful elements who are still driven by a puritanical hatred of all sexual activity which doesn’t conform with their narrow notions of propriety, even if it is between consenting adults.


Of course no-one condones the sexual exploitation of unwilling women – or men, for that matter – by third parties for profit. But that is an entirely different matter from the persecution of prostitution willingly engaged in on a mutually consenting basis

.

Half a century ago, the Wolfenden Committee in its famous report on homosexual offences and prostitution declared that


Unless a deliberate attempt is to be made by society, acting through the agency of the law, to equate the sphere of crime with that of sin, there must remain a realm of private morality and immorality which is, in brief and crude terms, not the law’s business.


Amen to that. It’s high time that a civilised society – if we still are one - adhered to that common sense principle.

14 comments:

Phil said...

The Guardian had to go to court to get "restricted" information that there is less sex-crime in the UK than was thought... Curiouser and curiouser. What looking-glass logic is this that apparently good news about "falls" in crime rates should be "restricted" news? This article is a gem of inverted perversion of topsy-turvey hypocracy.... err... or quite the contrary....

Who does it serve to have high statistics for crime? Whose budget is padded? Who gets away with more intrusion into privacy when crime is announced to be sky-rocketing?
Who benefits? The Police, of course!

Restricting true statistics allows the police to justify larger budgets and greater intrusion than is justifiable by the inconvenient truth. Furthermore, since it is sex-crimes that are being exaggerated, the intrusion into innocent lives is much more personal, much more door-to-door in the dark of night. It could be argued that this padding-of-budgets and headcount is a criminal misuse of public funds. However, the resultant harassment and invasion of privacy by the police of so many who have engaged in victimless sexual activity could be tantamount to a crime against humanity.

anticant said...

The concept of personal privacy has been almost entirely swept away by the torrent of "anti-terrorist" measures imposed on us since 9/11.

Adults are no longer regarded as trustworthy until proved otherwise even with their own children - let alone other people's: they now have to register and pay a tax if they want to do voluntary work with kids.

Adolescents are no longer allowed the freedom to experiment sexually - their exploratory fumblings are, since 2003, criminal even if entirely mutually consenting.

Children are being brainwashed by the State and its minions into believing that fear and suspicion of strangers is the norm.

It isn't only the police who profit by these inflated - and sometimes non-existent - crime statistics. There are swathes of 'child protection experts' and bossy social workers whose careers hinge on the myth that there's a kiddie fiddler on every street corner and that responsible adults who choose to engage in mutually consenting sexual activities, whether or not for money, need "rescuing" and, if possible, punishing as well.

Who will deliver us from these pestilent people?

Not the Tories, I fear.

Merkin said...

Fear is used as a method of control.
Simple.

Paedos.
Traffickers.
Terrorists.


Faux, faux, faux all of it.
And people have nearly had enough of it.

anticant said...

An even more depressing aspect of all this stuff is that the motivators - some but not all of whom are man-hating feminazis - will take no notice of the evidence, or lack of it: their stance is a fanatical one of believing what they want to regardless; "Don't confuse us with the facts - our minds are made up".

If they would do some honest in-depth research into prostitution, and the actual attitudes and lives of prostitutes of both sexes and their clients, they might begin to earn some of their keep, but that is in the highest degree unlikely.

In the 1960s and '70s I had frequent contact with experienced social workers and probation officers in central London who worked with prostitutes. In those days trafficking and 'sex slavery' was not seen by them as a major problem. They were far more concerned to get more liberal laws which would provide better protection for sex workers and reduce the scope for harassment and blackmail by corrupt police officers and criminals.

That is the common sense way to go. But the last thing to expect from the feminist theoreticians of the Left is common sense.

[Cue for rant by Julie Bindel.]

anticant said...

Here's the official hype:

http://www.pentameter.police.uk/docs/pentameter.pdf

zola a social thing said...

I think I will just off to the forest a fuck a reindeer.

How beastly.

Human all too human?

teddy bear said...

Well then, if you go down to the woods today you'd better go in disguise. We're having our picnic....

anticant said...

A very weak response to Nick Davies' article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/20/sex-trafficking-inquiry-nick-davies

Lots of comments supporting him, and critical of this piece.

Jose said...

This post reminds me of the Bush and Blair's Weapons of Mass Destruction which eventually were proved not existing.

Is this all done to scare people? Or to justifiy unjustifiable expenses? Because I don't think oil has got anything to do with sex...

Merkin said...

Because I don't think oil has got anything to do with sex...'

Jose, either I am using the wrong oil or you are using the wrong sex!!

anticant said...

O Merkin, I think you were well lubricated when you wrote tht!

Jose said...
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Jose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jose said...

Is that an enigma for you, Merkin?