Each member of the human trafficking team has ongoing investigations that take up the bulk of their time.The work is slow and doesn't always result in arrests or charges.Success is no longer an arrest or a charge or a conviction. Success might be having a good conversation with a woman, or getting her some relief.Sometimes, victims aren't ready for help right away, Hay adds.He's part of a stakeout there because his officers believe a woman inside the hotel is being sold for sex against her will."You're just putting people in jail for something they didn't want to do, but didn't have very many options. Hay is in charge of London's human trafficking unit.Human trafficking charges are difficult to prove, and difficult to prosecute.Victims who are rebuilding their lives might not want to testify when the case finally makes its way to trial.
For four weeks during Project Solstice, officers posed as Johns with women they suspected were being trafficked, going into hotel rooms to offer help.That's our children, living in this country, who are being sexually exploited.I think every day, normal people are suddenly finding out about what this is all about.These days, he heads a London police unit that takes a very different approach to women doing the same type of work."Putting that person in jail, putting them on (court) conditions that they would breach, and they'd be back in jail, it's not a good idea for anyone," says Hay as he sits in an unmarked van parked outside a hotel.