MARY HONEYBALL MEP
Labour DATE 2 November 2009 Tel: +44 (0) 7966280542
Over one thousand people sign petition to stop the
Met closing its Human Trafficking unit
Over one thousand people have signed the petition of Mary Honeyball MEP rallying
against the Met Police proposal to close its dedicated human trafficking unit.
With the threat of closure, support for the petition has come from charities, politicians
and trade unions. These include the Anti Slavery Organisation, the Public and
Commercial Services Union and individual politicians including Keith Vaz MP and her
MEP colleagues including London MEP, Claude Moraes.
The ever-growing number of signatures on the petition, showing the mounting support
there is to keep the unit, will be presented to the Met Police Commissioner, Sir Paul
Stephenson and to City Hall for the attention of the Mayor, by Mary Honeyball on
Friday 13 November 2009.
Mary has long campaigned to raise global awareness of human trafficking. She
launched a trafficking forum in January 2007 and has contributed to several European
Parliament reports on the topic securing millions in funding from member states’
governments to tackle the crime.
Mary Honeyball said: “If the Met’s specialist trafficking unit is closed it will have a
detrimental impact on victims not just in this country but across the globe.”
She added: “This is not a straight forward crime and therefore necessitates the skill of
specially trained officers.
"Many complain figures are low, but they are subject to a margin of error because
many victims don’t come forward. And those who do are often too afraid to give
evidence, meaning that perpetrators are often charged with different crimes, or
sometimes not at all.”
The Met police unit has been threatened with closure due to lack of funding in
November last year, but following significant pressure by several organisations and
politicians, including Mary, it was given a reprieve.
Mary’s petition has been featured on the Guardian’s Comment is Free, LabourList, the
Guardian letters and her own blog the honeyball buzz.
Introduction to Conversational French
The final decision on whether to keep the unit is expected on November 16 2009.
Notes to editors:
The petition is available to view here.
To date (2/11/09) the petition has received 1030 signatures but the number is rising
Mary will present the petition on Friday 13 November at City Hall 12.00pm and at
1.30pm at Scotland Yard.
Please contact Sarah MacKinlay on: 07956 44 33 93 or Holly Sutton on: 07966280542
for further details or if you would like to join us on Friday 13 November.
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors