HC Deb 04 March 2002 vol 381 c45W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what police services exist between the UK and other European police forces to combat the trafficking of women from European countries into the UK. [37201]

Angela Eagle

The United Kingdom (UK) works with other law enforcement agencies in Europe with Europol to tackle people trafficking from Europe to the UK. Europol has no executive or operational powers and no capabilities to gather evidence. It is intelligence based and offers a range of products and services to operational law enforcement teams in the European Union. These include analytical support for both strategic and tactical developments and a forum to process requests for assistance in UK investigations with connections in other European Union member states and candidate countries. There is ongoing operational work which is supported by Europol.

Another link between UK law enforcement and overseas partners is through the establishment of Project Reflex, a practical multi-agency taskforce on organised immigration crime. Led by the National Crime Squad (NCS), Reflex was set up in March 2000 and brings together all the key agencies, including the Immigration Service, the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), the security and intelligence agencies and key police forces including the Metropolitan police, Kent and the British Transport police. Under Reflex, a central tasking forum has been established to plan and co-ordinate multi-agency operations. It is now well established and the NCS is currently co-operating with overseas law enforcement partners on the disruption of organised criminal groups intent on trafficking.

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