Modern slavery first responders trained across the region (29 Mar 2019)

Front line social workers from across the Yorkshire and Humber region have received training to help tackle modern slavery.

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, Hope for Justice and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) joined forces to create two training events with funding from the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Programme (MSPTP).

The events were held in Leeds and Sheffield this week which saw attendees engaging in interactive exercises, videos and presentations.

The comprehensive training package covered how to spot the signs and indicators of modern slavery and how to respond, safeguarding any victims in the process.

Each delegate also received a 'Responding to Modern Slavery' handbook to take away with them, as well as multi-lingual flyers and posters.

The course utilised local cases and statistics and delegates participated in National Referral Mechanism (NRM) exercises to ensure they were, and continue to be, confident with making a referral.

First Responders' in this case are those appointed by the Home Office who can refer potential victims of modern slavery and human trafficking for government funded support through the NRM.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "Over recent years, there has been significant progress made to improve the regional and national response to modern slavery and human trafficking. This event was the latest piece to the puzzle.

"My thanks to all the attendees and partners involved in creating these events. It is widely recognised that a collaborative approach across all agencies is key to improving the identification and support for victims as well as bringing the perpetrators to justice.

"We will continue to work together to ensure there is no hiding place for modern slavery or those that seek to abuse other human beings."

Sara Squires, UK Training and Development Manager at Hope for Justice, said: "It's been an absolute pleasure to work in partnership with the West Yorkshire PCC and ADASS to deliver this important training to first responders. These sessions are essential to equip front-line staff with the knowledge and tools they need to support victims and meet their legal duties under the Modern Slavery Act. Both sessions have been extremely well received, with positive audience participation and many delegate commenting how they now feel better equipped to respond to modern slavery. I hope to continue to work in partnership to educate first responders in this important area of safeguarding."

Cath Roff, Regional Chair ADASS Yorkshire & Humber, said: "The training this week has provided around 50 Social Workers from across the Yorkshire and Humber region with the skills, knowledge and tools to respond and deal with modern slavery and human trafficking and provide the necessary support and protection to victims. We feel that it is essential that front line adult social care workers carrying out their day to day duties can spot the signs and indicators of different types of modern slavery and through this collaborative partnership approach we will increase awareness and our collective ability to tackle this heinous and often hidden crime."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019