The Metropolitan Police team that deals with child protection
concerns and child trafficking at London ports will double in size
by the end of next month.
The ports safeguarding team, which covers Heathrow Airport,
Waterloo Station and Lunar House immigration centre in Croydon,
will expand from three officers to six.
The six will also be part of a new joint working team at
Heathrow that will include two immigration officers. There are
plans to appoint two social workers to this group later.
Immigration officers at Heathrow already work closely with the
ports safeguarding team but detective inspector Gordon Valentine,
who leads the team, said they had different managers. He will be in
charge of the two immigration officers in the joint working
Patricia Durr, parliamentary adviser for The Children’s Society,
welcomed the measures and said the charity had been calling for
some time for more resources to safeguard children at ports of
entry into the UK.