Anna Lo MLA said “I strongly disagree with Paul Goggins’ assessment of human trafficking in Northern Ireland. Human trafficking is a big problem and it requires more police resources devoted to tackling it.
“Just because not that many people have been arrested yet in relation to this horrific trade, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a widespread problem here. The police publicised their signing up to the Pentameter 2 operation and the opening of an office in Belfast devoted to tacking this issue, so its very sad to hear Mr Goggins making an assessment like this when we know how big a problem trafficking is. There is real anecdotal evidence of the extent of this problem in Northern Ireland.
“Not long ago, we heard about the trial of the man that murdered Qu Mei Na, who was a victim of human trafficking. This brutal murder illustrates the devastating effects of this trade.
“Many women are being exploited and people are being forced to do things that jeopardize their safety as a result of this sickening phenomenon. Mr Goggins, as Criminal Justice Minister, should be ensuring that this issue is tackled pro-actively, instead of talking down this problem.”