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Statement from PCC Alison Hernandez - HMIC report on modern slavery

Following the publishing of a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) PCC Alison Hernandez shows support for the work happening in Devon and Cornwall to tackle modern slavery.

“I am very proud that the national response to the exploitation of people trying to improve their lives is being led by Devon and Cornwall. We have received £8.5m of funding from the Government’s Police Transformation Fund to set up the national policing response to modern slavery.

“A 200% increase in the number of active investigations, in just a year, is testimony to the priority that the Prime Minister has given this and to the hard work and expertise being put into the national programme by Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer and his programme team based in Exmouth.

“HMIC’s report identifies that, while there is still much to be done by individual forces, there has been a positive shift in the police response to modern slavery.

“I’m aware of the length that our own detectives have gone to in some cases, such as the recent convictions of a gangmaster and his sidekicks in Plymouth after they gained the confidence of witnesses from abroad to ensure they were brought to justice.

“This improvement coincides with the work being delivered by the national programme, particularly around support for victims and improving investigative techniques. I am confident, that when HMIC returns to re-inspect those forces already visited, that improvement should be considerable.”