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Commissioner sees new modern slavery suite as national report says more work to be done

24 October, 2017

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has visited a new modern slavery victims’ suite to highlight the good work of Lancashire Constabulary as a national report highlights concerns about the way modern slavery cases are dealt with.

Based in the east of the county, the two-room suite is designed to make victims of modern slavery feel more at ease during what can be an extremely stressful time. It gives the police the capacity to conduct interviews in more neutral surroundings next to a room dedicated to making victims comfortable with a bed, cot, kitchen and lounge.

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said, “Tackling modern slavery and human trafficking is a key priority for us in Lancashire, with some fantastic work having already been done and the creation of this victims’ suite is an important part of this.

“Traditionally, these offences have remained hidden and are often linked to wider organised crime. Lancashire Constabulary are working hard to bring these crimes into the light and taking action against those responsible.

“Setting up this new suite, which is already being used effectively, is another step forward in helping those being exploited through modern slavery. I am proud that the resources I have put into this fight places us at the forefront of anti-trafficking work, making our communities safer for everyone.”

Victims who have been trafficked or forced to work against their will can feel safe and secure which will improve the chance of securing evidence against those responsible who are often linked to organised crime.

This facility builds on Lancashire Constabulary’s track record of leading the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. The Commissioner has funded two additional roles within the police force to support investigative work in this area and training has been delivered to frontline staff and partners.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Vaughton said:

“We know modern slavery is happening today, and it’s happening in Lancashire.

“We are committed to rooting out those individuals who choose to exploit others and we have dedicated officers working hard to remove this type of threat from our communities.

“This area of policing is complex and identifying modern slavery can be difficult, but we have had a number of successful prosecutions recently and there have been a number of victims who have been rescued from exploitation and are now rebuilding better lives with the right help and support.

“We would urge you to look closer, modern slavery could be happening right in front of you – whether that’s in nail bars, car washes, rural businesses, brothels, massage parlours, or a property in your neighbourhood.

Remember if something doesn’t seem right or you have a suspicion about trafficking or slavery; report your concerns to us.”

The suite is already in active use, with potential victims utilising the facility as recently as last week.

The visit comes as a report from the national inspectors of policing highlighted that there is more to do across police forces nationwide in relation to modern slavery, especially on the support of victims.

 

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