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Here, under the pretence of attacking British privacy laws and defending free speech, is the Daily Mail fulminating that some football manager who went to some massage parlour can't legally be identified. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1238017/Premier-League-manager-c...
Note that it's a massage parlour, most of which are admittedly brothels in Britain, but no case seems to have been brought. Still, the football manager thought it was a brothel -- asked by reporters outside if he 'knew' it was one, he said, 'Yes' -- so hereinafter 'the brothel.' And away we go. In a desperate bid to make a public-interest case for publishing the man's name, the Mail writes: 'By visiting the brothel, he could have encouraged a number of crimes or even have committed one himself. Brothels are in some cases suspected of involvement in selling sex with under-age girls and human trafficking.' He could, on the butterfly in China-weather in Florida principle.
Note the echoes of a celebrated Ecpat report referenced in these pages that claimed smoking cannabis and buying fake DVDs encourages child sex trafficking. And yet, and yet: the Mail apparently knows to lay off Ecpat and CEOP for a while, and instead introduces a fresh figure (already, in identical wording, all over the Web): 'The last major police and immigration operation against trafficking three years ago raided 373 brothels and massage parlours and resulted in more than 150 arrests.' Difficult to track down the source for this tally. There's a slew of stories from 2006 of the 'sex slaves freed' variety, often linked to an inter-agency crackdown codenamed Operation Pentameter, though the official figures differ radically (232 arrests, 134 charged 'with a variety of offenses'): http://www.pentameter.police.uk/ If that's the same crackdown, then many of the rescued slaves from abroad were cold-heartedly deported, suggesting simple visa violations. Plus a sentence halfway through the Mail piece states: 'Running a brothel remains a serious crime,' but with any luck readers will have forgotten it and won't ask how many of the 150 to 232 arrests might be connected to that fact, rather than to child-sex-prostitution-trafficking.
It's hardly a trend, but is there a sense that the Mail is getting a little more cautious about this trafficking lark? Only a couple of months ago there'd have been rock-solid government figures to cite, plus NGO reports galore. Or are we shifting the goalposts, away from the campaigners and spin doctors towards 'solid' arrest figures? Is it just that the reporter had this figure at hand? More heads than the Hydra, this thing.