Nearly 18,000 women and girls trafficked into UK sex trade

July 3rd, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 3 (ANI): Brit teenage girls are being abducted and trafficked around the country for sex, police has warned.

According to a Home Office reports, gangs involved in flesh trade are not only exploiting youngsters smuggled from abroad but also are now targeting teenagers born in the UK.

The report said that internal trafficking of young girls in the country is an emerging issue.

“The phenomenon is usually associated, but not exclusively, with the sexual exploitation of young teenage girls,” the report added.

The Home Office has estimated that there are between 6,000 and 18,000 trafficked women and girls being forced to work as prostitutes in Britain.

Most are thought to have been brought to Britain from abroad, but Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said that the police are discovering more and more evidence that British girls and women are being exploited by people traffickers.

“It is something that increasingly people are raising and we are trying to get a better understanding of what exactly is taking place. It’s something we are aware of and we have concerns about,” the Telegraph quoted Coaker, as saying.

Coaker said that domestic trafficking tended to involve older men grooming younger women and girls by first appearing to be a friend or boyfriend.

“It is people living in an area and people groom them, get their trust and then betray that trust,” he said.

In one case in Sheffield, 33 local girls were befriended by young men offering gifts, who later sexually abused them and passed them on to other men in other cities for more abuse.

Coaker spoke as the Home Office released details of a six-month nationwide police operation against trafficking gangs. (ANI)

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