|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Reliable data on trafficking is extremely scarce, with the result that it is very difficult to make a comparative analysis of either the phenomenon itself or of the various counter-measures that have been introduced against it. The involvement of organised crime organisations complicates matters significantly further from a research perspective. However, the following three initiatives or sets of initiatives may be of relevance:
The most important development in terms of enforcement in the UK was the establishment of Reflex in May 2000. Reflex is a practical multi-agency task force on organised immigration crime, which includes people trafficking. The task force is led by the National Crime Squad (NCS), and brings together all the key agencies involved in combating the problem. This includes the Immigration Service, the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), the security and intelligence agencies and key police forces including the London Metropolitan Police, Kent Police and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
In strengthening enforcement, the work of Reflex is aimed at building up the intelligence picture, co-ordinating operations and providing a focal point for the operational response to organised immigration crime. Reflex also provides both the information and the means to disrupt and dismantle the activities of organised crime groups involved in these activities. The task force is based around joint working between police and immigration, as well as between different
An internal review is currently being conducted on the contribution of the core agencies to the Reflex objectives. This review is for internal management purposes only and is not available for wider dissemination.
A programme of action against people trafficking in minors and young women from Nigeria into Italy for the purposes of sexual exploitation is currently being carried out as a joint initiative between UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The project has been funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has been formally approved by the Nigerian Ministry of Justice on behalf of the Nigerian Government.
The market for illicit drugs is structured in much the same way as most other commodity markets. Very roughly there is an import or wholesale level (upper) a distribution level brokering between wholesale and (middle) a consumer supply level (lower). Interventions against traffickers in drugs are aimed very separately at these different levels of the market.
There is considerable activity aimed at reducing upper level 1 drug trafficking. For example, from April 1998 to the end of March 2003, the National Crime Squad recorded 1,490 operations (most of which involved drug trafficking) resulting in some:
The Home Office is currently in the process of evaluating actions by the Merseyside Middle Market Drugs Unit and the regional task force of Operation Tarian (involving the police forces of Dyfed Powys, Gwent and South Wales) who are developing interventions against middle market drug dealers. Results should be available in 200506.
Studies into the actions against the consumer level of the market are comparatively well researched. There is British work by Edmunds et al 2 (1996) and Best et al 3 (2001) for example, while European comparative work on retail/local/city markets has recently been conducted by Paoli et al 4 (2002) and Gruppo Abele/Massard et al 5 (2003).
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: There are no current plans to hold a public inquiry into the case of John (known as Joe) Scholes. More generally Paul Goggins is considering whether from a future date the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman should provide independent scrutiny of all deaths in prison custody.
Any death in custody, particularly that of a young person, is a terrible tragedy, which needs to be carefully investigated. As matters stand in the case of Joe Scholes, the coroner's inquest into his death has not yet taken place, having been adjourned with no date yet set.
Both the police and the Prison Service have already investigated the death. In the latter investigation the investigating team included two members from outside the Prison Service (Youth Justice Board and the Director of Public Health) and an advisory panel was also convened to advise the investigation. The panel included representatives from the Prison Service, Youth Justice Board, Prisons and Probation Ombudsman's Office, the local health authority and social services. The resultant investigation report has been disclosed to the coroner in order to inform the inquest, and to the family's legal representatives.
Additionally, Trafford Social Services has carried out a "Part 8" case review pursuant to Part 8 of Working Together to Safeguard Children and that report will be finalised after the inquest.
Back to Table of Contents
Lords Hansard Home Page