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The nature of crime in the UK is changing, and countering the complex offending of organized criminal groups is one of the biggest challenges prosecutors face. This film follows Eran Cutliffe - a s...enior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service - over nearly two years, as she tries to build a case that will break new legal ground. What she is tackling is happening in plain sight up and down the UK's high streets: child trafficking and exploitation. In gang-run nail bars, unsuspecting customers are having their nails painted by underage Vietnamese girls who have arrived to the UK in containers or lorries and are moved around the country to work as slaves. Children found by police and immigration officers at nail bars are placed into foster care, but they often run away and return to the network - making it even harder for the authorities to help them and to bring those exploiting them to justice. The Modern Slavery Act was passed in 2015 in a bid to tackle new forms of slavery, but the way in which the new law deals with the exploitation of children has never before been tested in court. For this landmark case, Eran joins forces with barrister and human trafficking expert Caroline Haughey and, as the case grows, the pair work together with Staffordshire and Avon and Somerset police. As illegal immigrants with no other options, the girls found in the nail bars do not talk about themselves as victims and say they are happy to be fed, housed and work for free. As Eran hears more accounts from the girls, the similarities between their stories make her suspect that the network is coaching the girls in what to say if they are questioned by the police. How do you bring a prosecution when the victims are missing or their credibility as witnesses is drastically undermined? This film reveals the complexity of the puzzle the police and CPS must piece together as they attempt to get to the very heart of a criminal gang who trade children as commodities.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Series: The prosecutors; Series 2
Episode 2
First transmission date: 09-08-2018
Original broadcast channel: BBC 2
Published: 2018
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OUDA web pages.
Duration: 00:58:48
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Director: Blue Ryan
Producers: Paterson Joseph; Celia White; Shannen Horgan; Clair Langley; Mark Tomassi; Charlotte Tucker; Mark Underwood; Karen Voice; Julie Warburton; Sacha Baveystock
Presenters: Sara Hardy;
Narrator: Paterson Joseph
Contributor: Eran Cutliffe
Link to related site: Episode page on BBC2 website:
Production number: FKID257H
Videofinder number: 231069
Available to public: no