Scotland Yard goes all-out after traffickers

The operation is aimed at gangs who cheat vulnerable young women, many Asians, by making false promises of good jobs.
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Published on Feb 21, 2006 07:34 PM IST
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None | ByUK Bureau, London

Concerned over growing sex trafficking, particularly from East European countries but in which some Asians are also allegedly involved, Scotland Yard has launched for the first time a country-wide operation to curb it.

It is estimated that over 6,000 girls are brought into the country every year.

Called Operation Pentameter, it is aimed at the criminal gangs who cheat vulnerable young women into the UK by false promises of good jobs. One in the UK had their passports taken away and then were forced to work as prostitutes.

All 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are taking part in Operation Pentameter, which is being co-ordinated by the Association of Chief Police Officers.

In recent months, rescue operations were launched even in respectable and affluent localities in London and Birmingham where brothels were being run under the guise of massage parlours or boutiques.

The police plan a poster campaign, designed to encourage the victims of sex trafficking to call a helpline. The posters will be targeted at potential victims arriving at UK ports.

The campaign is also aiming to educate men about the realities of prostitution in the hope of reducing demand.

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