Home Secretary strengthens policing response to modern slavery with £8.5 million funding investment

Home Secretary Amber Rudd

Home Secretary Amber Rudd

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to stamp out modern slavery by announcing £8.5 million of funding that will help law enforcement agencies in tackling this horrendous form of criminality.

Granted until 2018-2019 following a bid made to the Police Transformation Fund, the funding will improve the country’s enforcement response to modern slavery by providing high quality intelligence and analysis designed to assess the threat at both a national and regional level, and at the same time engender an improved operational response throughout the investigative process.

Led by Devon and Cornwall Police, the national effort will provide over 50 additional analysts, specialists and investigators who will assist the police in England and Wales to “transform” the response to this complex crime.

The Home Secretary stated: “Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of the most vulnerable in our society. This Government has taken world-leading action to tackle it by strengthening the law enforcement response and increasing support and protection for victims, but we recognise that we must do even more. That’s why I’m announcing a significant investment that will help our law enforcement agencies bring the perpetrators of this intolerable criminality to justice. Our message to slave-drivers and traffickers is clear: we are coming to get you and you have absolutely nowhere to hide.”

The Conservative Government’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 gave law enforcement new powers to tackle these crimes, introduced tougher sentences and increased protection for victims. The number of prosecutions and convictions have risen, with 289 modern slavery offences prosecuted in England and Wales in 2015. Record numbers of victims are also now coming forward to ask for help.

This new injection of Government investment is designed to address some of the areas for improvement highlighted by both the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and Caroline Haughey in their recent reports.

Devon and Cornwall Police Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, the national policing lead on modern slavery, organised immigration crime and migration matters, explained: “I share the Home Secretary’s unequivocal commitment to further improving the UK’s response to modern slavery. Police have invested in specialist investigators, developed a cross-country network, trained officers and led successful operations to tackle trafficking and the exploitation of people for profit. This significant financial investment from the Police Transformation Fund enables us to do even 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 while at the same time protecting victims.”

The £8.5 million investment is the latest Government action focused on improving the operational response. In July, Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will chair a Modern Slavery Task Force focusing on the law enforcement response, while the Home Secretary instructed Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to carry out a detailed inspection of the police response. This process is set to begin later on this year.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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