Increasing Awareness of Human Trafficking (8 April 2014)

Summary of the event

HtOn 8 April 2014 I held an event to raise awareness of Human Trafficking which is a key priority within my refreshed Police and Crime Plan. My plan can be accessed here

Over 100 delegates attended the event from over 30 different public and third sector organisations including the Northern Refuge Centre, Gangmasters Licensing Authority and the Home Office. Speakers from West Yorkshire Police, The Salvation Army and Hope for Justice delivered presentations that between them covered the scale of the problem in West Yorkshire, the signs of when someone is being trafficked and details about the National Referral Mechanism. Each presentation gave delegates vital information about this destructive crime to take back to their respective work places.

A vital part of the event were the roundtable discussions which allowed delegates to suggest actions and ways to progress support to victims of Human Trafficking and what I, as your PCC, can do to increase awareness and tackle Human Trafficking.

I promised that the themes, suggestions and actions from each table would be taken back by my office and collated to help guide progress on this priority. This summary has therefore been written to ensure you that you have been listened to and certain actions progressed.

Purpose of this summary

  • Consolidate- bring together partners' ideas from the day into one document for ease of reference.
  • Interdependencies- add into this, reflections and progress since the event to identify links with other pieces of work that might help us to take some of these actions forward.
  • Delivery- Identify what actions might help us deliver outcomes from the Police and Crime Plan:
    • Where there are actions areas which might be relevant to more than one outcome - impact might be greatest but it will be particularly important to join up efforts and avoid duplication.
    • Problem solve- identify what barriers might exist so we can discuss how these could be overcome.

And then use this to:

  • Prioritise- areas for action and agree how these will be progressed.
  • Show that we're listening- we want to update partners so they know their views are valued and importantly they are clear on how they can contribute moving forwards.
  • Continue to focus on working together and making a difference- continue to work together to establish a strong network of public, private and third sector partners across West Yorkshire who are actively contributing to making our communities safer and feel safer.

Key points from the roundtable discussions

What can agencies do to identify and provide support to victims of Human Trafficking?

  • Maintain and improve levels of victim care
  • Build relationships with victims so they are more receptive to accepting support
    • From the relationships that have been built, learn about Human Trafficking practises to discover further ways in which to investigate
    • Identify potential funding streams for grants to support victims
    • Increase the number of translators to reduce language barriers in place
    • Increase training and education on Human Trafficking to groups who may be able to identify victims  and offenders:
      • A & E
      • Maternity
      • Health Visitors
      • DWP
      • Teachers
      • Police
      • Youth Offending Teams
      • Faith groups
      • CPS
  • Establish a more open minded approach to offenders being victims of Human Trafficking through training and education
  • Explore the Human Trafficking  procedures with a view to aligning them to safeguarding and child protection
  • A real scale of the problem needs to be further established with improved data recording and increased intelligence gathered
  • A directory of services could be collated, designed and printed for dissemination so victims know who to contact to provide information or seek help

What specifically can the PCC do to increase awareness and tackle Human Trafficking?

  • The Home Office booklet on data sharing could be circulated around partners to encourage information sharing  on Human Trafficking matters
  • Find ways to raise awareness with partners and hard to reach groups
  • Identify and appoint SPOCS in authorities/groups/agencies including the police to tackle and progress Human Trafficking actions together
  • Raise greater awareness of Human Trafficking working with CPS and Criminal Justice Agencies.
  • Engage with the public and communities on these problems
  • Engage with  and establish further relationships with the National Crime Agency and border control
  • Look into a single regional Human Trafficking SPOC for Yorkshire to tackle the problem and take actions forward
  • Work with the Chief Constable to ensure Human Trafficking is policed with the appropriate resources including district hubs, POCA investment and how the police engage with partners on Human Trafficking issues.
  • I will present the findings of this event to my Partnership Executive Group (PEG) and create an action plan for work together in partnership.

Suggestions

  • A follow up event in 12 months to establish what progress has been made
  • Ensure learning from recent police led operations are carried forward
  • Increase understanding of how people are cared for who are not referred into the National Referral Mechanism
    • Can further levels of support be formed? 

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 Next Steps...

  • I will progress the creation of a national working group among Police and Crime Commissioners to tackle Human Trafficking head on.
  • I will seek to understand further the levels of training and education on Human Trafficking not only within West Yorkshire Police but also within other public sector organisations, with a view to improving and increasing the level of training delivered.
    • This will also serve as an opportunity to discuss data sharing and identifying SPOCS for Human Trafficking within other organisations
  • I will circulate the Home Office booklet on data sharing to partners who attended the Increasing Awareness of Human Trafficking Event.
  • I will contact and meet with colleagues at the National Crime Agency to establish ways in which we can work together better and more closely going forward.
  • I will continue to keep abreast of legislative developments regarding Human Trafficking and seek to gain regular updates from the Home Secretary on her modern slavery bill and specifically on the role of potential Anti-Slavery Commissioners which I believe is at draft bill stage.
  • I will hold an additional event in the near future on a particular aspect of Human Trafficking; this will be decided through consultation with the police and partners.
    • This will also serve as further opportunity to come together and establish what progress has been made on tackling the problem.

Thank you

I would like to thank everyone who came along to the event for their time and contributions. The event would not have been successful without you.

All the results from the roundtable discussions have been discussed, analysed and documented and I will continually refer back to them to guide progress on tackling Human Trafficking in West Yorkshire and nationally.

Mark siglittle

Mark Burns-Williamson

Police and Crime Commissioner forWest Yorkshire

 

 

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