Skip to main content

Trafficking kids for crime

I saw on the TV last night that Panorama will be presenting a show about how children are trafficked across Europe to beg and steal.

It's nice that the TV and authorities have finally picked up on this problem, indeed the Crown Prosecution Service now has a whole team dedicated to trafficking and a policy about it too.

Trafficking has it's sexy side - by which I mean a side that gets reported regularly, probably because it involves sex, which gives the newspapers the chance to titillate their weird readers and set the tongues of everybody else tutting at the inhumanity of johnny foreigner and/or the vile indifference of men who pay for sex.

What rarely gets reported is the flood of kids who are brought to the UK (and indeed every other European country) so that they can beg and steal.  This isn't reported presumably because then the press would have to side with the feral youth whose crimes they like to gleefully report.  These kids in my experience are usually between 11 and 19 years old - usually toward the younger end as the girls often seem to be married off as they approach late teens.

In my first year of criminal law practice the firm I worked at had a large client base of literally hundreds of kids and young adults who were exclusively female.  They would pick a town or city and then swarm through it picking pockets and stealing from shops.  Inevitably some would be arrested.  A wholly inappropriate adult would turn up to act as the appropriate adult during the police interview.  He (for it was always a he) would be inappropriate because he was usually one of the men controlling the girl who was in custody.

Now I'm not suggesting that these girls were prisoners of the men controlling them for they were not kept locked up, although I'm pretty sure some were beaten for not doing as they were told.  They were children who had been taught to steal from a very young age and were then shipped across Europe (on one occasion they made it to the USA) sans parents stealing everything they could until the courts started to lock them up at which point they would move on to the next country until things died down a bit.

The police were never willing to take any action against the men who were clearly behind the crimes.  On the one hand I can understand that as they would probably never have got the girls to give evidence against the men.  I suspect that the girls had no faith in the police either - on one occasion I recall a group of girls aged 11, 13 and 15 none of whom spoke English all being strip searched without an appropriate adult present or an interpreter.  The police literally had to pull the clothes off of them to conduct the search.  I asked the officers how forcibly stripping a child naked could possibly outweigh the tiny risk of them having a mobile in their knickers (which they did not have incidentally), but was met with a wall of indifference.

I've said it before, if you want to cut crime then you must attack the causes of that crime.  In this case, the place to attack is the men behind the gangs not the children committing the obvious crimes... it would be like fighting human trafficking by locking up the sex slaves for prostitution!


  1. And how long has it been since it was standard policy to prosecute women for prostitution without caring about whether they might be sex slaves? This sort of thing changes very slowly.

  2. I honestly don't know Roger, although I suspect it's less than 10-years.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Ched Evans

Before I begin, I will say that at around 4,500 words this is probably the longest blog I’ve ever posted but I think it’s all necessary to set the scene for this case and explain the background that has been largely ignored or airbrushed in the press. Despite its length, I have not attempted to include every little detail of either fact or law but have done my best to provide a balanced picture of the Ched Evans case, what happened and why the courts reached the decisions they did. There has been so much written about the Ched Evans case over the past weekend, much of it based on a very shaky grasp of the facts and law, that I decided I would read up about the case and weigh in (hopefully on a slightly firmer footing than most of the articles I’ve read so far).

Broadly speaking there seem to be three groups who have opinions on the case:
1.Sexual violence groups (including people describing themselves as “radical feminists”) who appear to take the view that the case is awful, the Court o…

How do the police decide whether to charge a suspect?

A question I’m often asked by clients (and in a roundabout way by people arriving at this blog using searches that ask the question in a variety of ways), is “how do the police decide whether to charge or take no further action (NFA)?”
What are the options?
Let’s have a quick think about what options are available to the police at the end of an investigation.
First, they can charge or report you for summons to attend court.  Charging means that you are given police bail and are required to attend court in person.  A summons is an order from the court for you to attend or for you to send a solicitor on your behalf.  In many cases where a person is summonsed, the court will allow you the option of entering a plea by post.
Second, you may be given a caution.  These can be a simple caution, which on the face of it is a warning not to be naughty in future, or it can be a conditional caution.  Conditions could include a requirement to pay for the cost of damage or compensation, etc.  Either…

Bid to prevent defendants knowing who accuses them of a crime

When I read The Trial by Kafka and Nineteen Eighty-Four by Orwell, I took them as warnings of how a bad justice system wrecks lives of those caught up in it. Sadly, some Members of Parliament and the House of Lords seem to view the books more as a guide to how they would like our Criminal Justice System to run. Today, I read of plans to hide the names of accusers and witnesses from defendants in a large number of cases. Victims of sexual offences, such as rape, have had the right to lifelong anonymity for many years now. This means that it is a criminal offence to publish information that will lead to a complainant being identified. A Bill currently being considered by Parliament would extend that anonymity to bar defendants and their lawyers knowing the name of the person accusing them. This would apply not only in sexual offences, as has been reported in the press, but also in violent offences.
The anonymity currently offered to victims of sexual offences is not total, the complainant…