Sex trafficked victims ‘missing’
But a BBC Wales “Week in Week Out” investigation has revealed serious concerns that it is not delivering. Operation Pentameter One resulted in 88 victims being rescued, but Vernon Coaker MP, a Home Office Minister, admitted to programme-makers he did not know where the vast majority were.
“I don’t know where all the 76 actually are, but what I do know is that they will have been dealt with in the appropriate way,” he said. He said he did not know how much public money had been spent across
The admission comes in the wake of a high-profile court case last week, involving brothel boos Diana Jones, who ran a string of illegal operations in
In the “Week in Week Out” programme broadcast on Monday evening, she gave an insight into the illegal operation which police said turned over ₤3m. The programme reveals how it is business as usual throughout the investigation.
The court heard the brothels had run with at least some police officers knowing what went on behind closed doors-something the force had contested in court. When challenged in the programme about whether South Wales Police officers had “turned a blind eye” to Diana Jones illegal operations, Assistant Chief Constable Giles York said: “I do not know what is the minds of my officers, but what I can tell is the she has been prosecuted now, and it was a successful operation and she’s pleaded guilty to it.”
He said he believed Pentameter had been a success in his force area with five victims rescued, and nearly ₤500,000 recovered from offenders. He said his officers will continue to pursue Diana Jones for the money she made from her illegal activities. She was given a suspended prison sentence for brothel keeping and faces financial ruin. She was investigated after taking two trafficked eastern Europeans women to police for safety.
“I think Pentameter had all the right reasons for starting the operation off, but in terms of success, and capturing traffickers, no, they got far more success from people in the sex industry, in the know, passing information on” she told the programme. -BBC