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Police and crime commissioners shed light on modern slavery

TACKLING: MET Police

MICHAEL LANE, Police and Crime Commissioner, is joining forces with his counterparts in neighbouring areas for a ground-breaking conference to fight modern slavery.

The Commissioner is working with the PCCs from Sussex, Surrey, and Thames Valley to hold an event on Tuesday 20 June, to examine how the four areas can work together to tackle the issue of human trafficking.

The conference at the HG Wells Conference & Events Centre in Woking tomorrow will be opened by Kevin Hyland, the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Speakers will include Miriam Minty from the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Unit, Assistant Chief Constable Jeremy Burton, Specialist Crime, Surrey & Sussex Police, and Shahrzad Fouladvand, Lecturer in International Criminal Law at the University of Sussex.

Lane said: “By working with a wide range of partners we can bring together the expertise and knowledge needed to tackle these crimes, which are inflicted upon the most vulnerable members of our society.

Katy Bourne, PCC for Sussex said: “We need to join forces in order to understand the scale of the problem in both our county and the region and to find a better way of working together on the solution.”

Kevin Hyland says: “The police response to modern slavery must remain a priority if we hope to see more victims rescued and perpetrators punished so it is good to see that these four Police and Crime Commissioners are getting together to understand the scale of the problem and how to tackle it. Only by collaboration and cooperation will we really see progress.

“PCCs are in a position to drive change; I would like to see more PCCs leading the charge in their areas and working effectively with partners to fight the brutal crime of modern slavery.”

Michael Lane also commented: “Victims of Modern Slavery are extremely vulnerable, and even once identified are still at risk from being re-trafficked and re-exploited. Bringing charities, faith groups, statutory and law enforcement organisations together will enable them to share their knowledge and approaches to modern slavery, and will identify areas where this crime may be occurring and allow even better targeting to protect the vulnerable.

He added: “I encourage the public to report any concerns they may have, and to become familiar with some of the signs which indicate when a person may have been exploited.”

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