|Posted on March 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM|
LAW chiefs are using an “Al Capone approach” to trap human traffickers.
A Crown Office official yesterday said legislation isn’t strong enough to reel in the gangsters.
And the crooks were told that if prosecutors can’t get them on a human trafficking rap then they will “get them for something”.
It was a reference to the infamous US prohibition-era gangster who was linked to numerous murders but was eventually brought down for tax evasion.
The warning came from senior advocate depute Alison Di Rollo, deputy head of the Crown Office’s national sexual crimes unit.
It came as campaigners and prosecutors gathered at Holyrood’s equal opportunities committee to discuss the problem.
Police estimate Scotland had 13.5per cent of the UK’s trade in humans despite having less than 10per cent of the UK population.
However, Scotland has only secured two successful prosecutions compared with more than 150 in England and Wales.
Di Rollo said she backed plans for a new “aggravated offence” of trafficking.
She said that would not be “a dilution or lowering of the burden of proof” but would act as “a backcloth to another offence to say to the court that there is a background of trafficking”.
She added: “In cases where we lacked that sufficiency of evidence, but we had something we could take to the court that would colour the offence in such a way that it would magnify and increase the sentence, I think it would be a very useful tool.”
Di Rollo said prosecutors have had to be “flexible and imaginative” with the current legislation to secure convictions.
She said: “It’s the Al Capone approach – we’ll get them for something if we can’t get them on the human trafficking charge.”
The Record has led the way highlighting the misery caused by trafficking.
In 2007, we told how a 15-year-old Lithuanian was forced to work as a sex slave after coming to the UK with the promise of a job.
In December 2007, we told how 17 sex slaves had been rescued by cops after being forced to work as prostitutes in Scotland.
And in July 2008, we told how police rescued 59 women, including a Chinese sex slave in Falkirk.
Categories: Glasgow Rapes/Sexual assaults