In Brief

Slavery cases in London up by 60%

As many as 1,600 human trafficking cases expected to be reported in the capital in 2017

The number of slavery cases reported in London is expected to leap by more than 60 per cent this year, according to the head of the Metropolitan Police's modern-day slavery and kidnap unit.

DCI Phil Brewer said the force expects as many as 1,600 cases of human trafficking to be referred to it in 2017, an increase on the 1,000 from 2016, which was itself a 260 per cent rise on the year before that.

The figures "will come as a blow to Theresa May who as Home Secretary led the fight against modern-day slavery", says The Guardian.

Despite government action against human trafficking, culminating in the Modern Day Slavery Act 2015, campaigners say many potential cases are still being missed. 

Tamara Barnett of the Human Trafficking Foundation said: "Victims are not being identified. When they are being identified, they are not being protected and criminals are getting away with their abuse."

"Modern slavery is something of a new buzzword," she added. "But with human trafficking, we are where we were with domestic violence 25 years ago or  [female genital mutilation] five or ten years ago."

Three men are to be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court, South London, today after pleading guilty to trafficking offences following a joint operation between UK and Romanian police.

The men smuggled girls and women from Romania to the UK and then forced them to have sex with as many as 15 men a day.

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