West Yorkshire’s PCC continues to push human trafficking up the national agenda (18 Nov 2016)

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner continued his work tackling human trafficking at the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Partnership Summit this week.

The APCC and NPCC summit is a national annual conference attended by the Home Office and Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners from across the country.

Mark, who is also the Chair of the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network, led a breakout session on human trafficking and modern slavery at the event.

The session consisted of a panel of specialists who provided the latest update in their field of expertise and how they are driving forward the response to this significant threat. This was followed by time for questions and discussion on the issues nationally.

The panel included Mark, Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer of Devon and Cornwall Police who is the National Police Lead for Modern Slavery, Barrister Caroline Haughey who spoke about her independent review into the effectiveness of the criminal justice provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, Chief Executive Paul Broadbent from the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Offer Stern-Weiner from the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit and the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland.

Mark said: "The trafficking of people and modern slavery are abhorrent abuses of human rights and police and crime commissioners are working together with their police forces, partners and communities to tackle these criminal activities.

"In February this year I launched the National Anti-trafficking and Modern Slavery Network at the Home Office, which brings together PCCs and other stakeholders to provide a strategic meeting framework nationally to raise awareness of tackling human trafficking and modern slavery in all its forms.

"These crimes are a major challenge for all of us, but there is a commitment to tackle these issues and prevent harm and suffering. National regional and local partnerships are being established and strengthened and working together with our partners, businesses and communities we can and will make a difference".

If you suspect human trafficking or modern slavery is taking place reports can be made by calling 101 or anonymously through the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700. Visible signs can include anti-social behaviour, overcrowding or squalid living conditions, indicators of prostitution or a concern for welfare.

To find out more about how human trafficking and modern slavery are being tackled in West Yorkshire and nationally visit www.westyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/campaigns/human-trafficking.aspx.

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018