24/10/2017

Cleveland anti-slavery network

A new anti-slavery network is being established in Cleveland by Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.

A ground breaking new Anti-Slavery Network, to launch later this year, will help Cleveland Police and partner agencies work collaboratively to eradicate modern slavery in all its forms.

PCC Coppinger said: “Nationally there is evidence that multi-agency Anti-Slavery Networks have a positive impact on combatting and preventing modern slavery and human trafficking and having such a network in place is recognised as good practice.

“Aligning with our Police and Crime Plan, the establishment of an Anti-Slavery Network will help the Force and stakeholders work collectively and collaboratively to prevent, identify, disrupt and eradicate modern slavery in all its forms and will result in Cleveland being a safer and happier place to live.”

Work to establish the network comes on the back of other great strides being made in the region, including a recent ‘Hope for justice’ modern day slavery training course for police officers and partner agencies. The course was attended by almost 200 frontline police officers, senior detectives and staff from partner originations.

Mr Coppinger added: “Tackling modern day slavery is not just about police officers, we must all come together as a community if we are to make a real difference. That is what we are doing in Cleveland and that is what I will continue to work for both regionally and nationally.”

This week also sees the publication of a national report into the issue of modern day slavery by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS).

Cleveland Police Assistant Chief Constable Adrian Roberts said: “The HMICFRS report published today relates to an assessment in 2016 and it is fair to say that a great deal of work has been done since then to develop our understanding of this type of crime, our response to it, and most importantly our ability to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“Our region was the first to employ a Regional Co-ordinator dedicated to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking as part of a National Police Transformation Unit initiative and we have a new detective post within the Vulnerability Unit to focus on all forms of Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation.”

“We have been part of work, coordinated both locally and regionally, to improve our understanding of this issue and develop our responses to it. Although we still have much work to do, we have also made significant progress and I’d like to thank our Police and Crime Commissioner for leading the way in bringing our communities together to work with police on these important issues.”