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Seven-Strong Purge on Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery

A unique and trail blazing approach to tackling modern day slavery is set to crank up the heat on those who exploit people through business activities and supply chains. 

Seven Police and Crime Commissioners and their respective Chief Constables have each worked together to develop a Modern Slavery Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) Statement. (click to read)

From Sunday 18th October, which is UK Anti-Slavery Day, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Humberside, Cleveland, Durham and Northumbria counties will operate according to this single vision.  

It is a collaborative and voluntary commitment, not just to examine policing businesses and supply chains for modern slavery, but also to tackle modern slavery as a whole. 

Led by West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson OBE as the national APCC lead for modern slavery and human trafficking, it has taken a number of months to develop and prepare. He says it demonstrates a true sign of shared intent and a positive example to others:

“We know from the academic work and various national reports on the theme of modern day slavery that exploitation through business activities and supply chains remains an ongoing problem that can often be hidden from plain sight.

“As public bodies charged with addressing and detecting these despicable crimes within our communities, it is absolutely right and critical that we all lead by example. Only by scratching the surface, asking questions and proactively exploring the avenues of our business, can we properly address the issue of malpractice or exploitation within supply chains.

“Each of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s and Forces involved recognise this fact and acknowledge the importance of having a consistent approach that can make a tangible difference through our procurement processes which are well established within the region.

“The recent annual report from the national Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, for instance, underlined the importance of leadership and co-ordination in affecting change and this collective TISC Statement of intent is a great example of that. It outlines exactly how we are going to collectively achieve our goals and in addition, we will gather data via a supplier engagement tool that will inform an evolving action plan. 

“Not only will this set the benchmark for other public sector organisations, but it will send out a clear message to those in the commercial and private sector as well in doing the right thing at a time of uncertainty for many.

“Already the Modern Slavery Organised Immigration Crime Programme (MSOICP) have realised its potential value and requested that we work alongside them to support and develop national best practice for the Home Office, which is exactly the sort of catalyst we want to create.”

In Humberside, the commitment by Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter to fund the partnership coordinator role and support the creation of our dedicated Operation Wilberforce police team means that our Anti-Slavery efforts are now firmly part of daily business. While there is still much work to do to embed a sustainable and meaningful response in all sectors, stakeholders, partners and those who have a statutory duty to respond to modern slavery in our area have more support than ever before to meet their obligations.

Andrew Smith, Humber Modern Slavery Partnership Coordinator said: “We have taken great strides in Humberside to combat modern slavery by building an effective partnership approach that will stand the test of time by being sustainable and focused. By identifying key strategic priorities we are working to inform and support our tactical and operational response to disrupting organised crime, bringing perpetrators to justice, fully supporting victims in and out of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), and by enhancing ongoing work that builds resilient communities free from the threat of exploitation.

“We already know that modern slavery encompasses a large range of crime types and funds further serious and organised crime. We know it decimates communities, it drives victims into unimaginable crisis, destitution and trauma. Given what we know, we cannot in good conscience now look away, we all have a moral duty to stand up and say no to the exploitation of our fellow human beings. Meaningful action in the present can absolutely pave the way in creating a free and fair society so future generations may reap the benefits of the seeds of change we collectively sow”.

To report a suspicion or seek advice, call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 or visit the webpage for further information and advice

Posted on Friday 16th October 2020