Bedfordshire Police and crime charities release video to highlight trafficking in the sex industry
Police and crime charities have released a new video urging people to help women trafficked into the sex industry.
The video is aimed at anyone who might consider buying sex at Christmas, calling on them to think about the consequences of their actions.
It has been produced to coincide with International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers (Tuesday, December 17).
It also comes a week after police and specialist support workers carried out warrants and visits at 17 addresses in Luton.
The addresses were believed to be brothels or properties linked to a suspected organised crime group trafficking women into the sex industry.
Thirteen cases of sexual exploitation were identified in the county between 4 June and 21 November this year, according to police figures.
Sergeant Elizabeth Spurling said: “We would urge anyone considering paying for sexual services at this time of year to think hard about the human suffering they are funding.
“Human traffickers exploit victims in the sex industry because the demand for sexual services means they can generate vast criminal profits.
“Unlike drugs or firearms, which are only bought or sold once, a victim being exploited in this way represents a continuous source of income for criminals.
“Those paying for sex need to think about whether they are engaging a trafficked victim.
"Paying for sex with someone who has been trafficked is a criminal offence, regardless of whether the person paying knows that the other person has been trafficked.
“Law enforcement’s focus is on reducing vulnerability, protecting victims and targeting those who exploit or cause harm."