Home Secretary strengthens police response to modern slavery.
Amber Rudd backs national bid, led by Devon and Cornwall, for £8.5 million funding
Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez and Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, the National Police Chiefs' Council Lead on Modern Slavery, have welcomed today’s news that the Home Secretary is backing their bid for extra resources to tackle modern slavery.
Amber Rudd has announced that the Government is giving an extra £8.5 million nationally to help police fight this crime.
This new response, led by Devon and Cornwall, will provide over 50 dedicated analysts, specialists and investigators. These additional capabilities will help police in England and Wales transform their current work. As part of the national plan, extra resources will now be available for the South West region.
"All forms of modern slavery are vile crimes that police are determined to play our part in eradicating.” said Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, National Police Chiefs' Council Lead on Modern Slavery
"I share the Home Secretary's unequivocal commitment to further improving the UK response to modern slavery.”
The funding, granted until 2018/19 following a bid to the Police Transformation Fund, will improve the country’s policing response to modern slavery by providing high quality intelligence, an analysis hub to assess the threat at a national and regional level, and an improved operational response throughout the investigative process.
The investment includes:
Joint Slavery & Trafficking Assessment Centre (JSTAC)
- A dedicated analytical team to deliver high quality intelligence and an improved assessment of the modern slavery threat.
Regional Co-ordination Teams
- Regional analysts and co-ordinators located in Regional Organised Crime Units to assess the scale and nature of the modern slavery threat regionally and to join up investigative resources.
Prevention & Investigation Centre of Excellence (PRICE)
- Includes a team of specialist officers and an on-call expert prosecutor to support forces as they investigate, disrupt and prosecute complex modern slavery cases.
- It will include a dedicated triage team to manage referrals to the police for criminal investigation.
- A specialist team to disseminate best practice across law enforcement agencies.
- Development of accredited training products to improve identification and investigation of modern slavery cases.
The Government’s Modern Slavery Act introduced harsher sentences for slavery offences and over the last year prosecutions and convictions have risen, with 289 modern slavery offences prosecuted in England and Wales in 2015.
“This is fantastic news, and I’m delighted that Devon and Cornwall is leading the way on this for the whole country.” said Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez.
“We can’t accept the exploitation of people who are desperate to make a living and who want a better life.”
“Our initiative builds a better platform that will protect the thousands of people across the country who are enslaved by criminals and criminal gangs. Protecting the most vulnerable people, particularly those whose exploitation is often hidden from view, will not be tolerated.”
The £8.5m investment is the latest Government action to drive improvements to the operational response following the announcement of the Prime Minister’s new Modern Slavery Taskforce and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary being commissioned to examine the police response.
It also follows the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act that provides increased protection for victims, gives law enforcement the power to tackle modern slavery and ensures the penalties for offenders match the appalling nature of the crime.
“Police have invested in specialist investigators, developed a cross-country network, trained officers and led successful operations to tackle trafficking and exploitation of people for profit.“ said Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer.
"This significant financial investment from the Transformation Fund enables us to do more. We will use the funding to bring in more specialist officers, improve our intelligence on traffickers and run more proactive operations that bring criminals to justice and protect victims."
· The Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index 2016 estimates there are 45.8 million victims of slavery globally. The Home Office estimated there were 10,000 to 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery in the UK in 2013.
· In 2015, 3,266 victims were referred to the National Referral Mechanism, the UK’s support system for modern slavery. This represents a 40% increase compared to 2014 (2,340 referrals). Latest figures show 289 modern slavery offences prosecuted in 2015, up from 253 offences prosecuted in 2014.
· In 2014 the International Labour Organization estimated the global trade in humans costs £113.8 billion ($150 billion). In 2013, the Home Office estimated human trafficking for sexual exploitation alone cost the UK £890 million.