Introduction from Supt Jenny Bristow:
On the 13th and 14th February we look forward to welcoming 200 delegates from across policing to our third national CPD event at the College of Policing in Ryton. The event provides essential professional development for those who hold strategic and operational responsibility for leading the police response to modern slavery and human trafficking - locally, regionally and nationally.
As such it provides an opportunity for these practitioners to get together to share best practice, discuss challenges and to receive updates on the national framework within which we operate. Speakers include NPCC lead for Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer QPM, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton DBE QPM, leading modern slavery barrister and national policy maker Caroline Haughey QC and Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor Lynette Woodrow, who is the national slavery and trafficking lead at the Crown Prosecution Service. Colleagues from the National Crime Agency, National County Lines Coordination Centre, Cabinet Office and others from policing across England and Wales will also be presenting.
It will also allow me to introduce Detective Supt Sheon Sturland of Devon & Cornwall Police. Sheon has taken over from me over as Commander of the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit and as lead of the NPCC Modern Slavery and OIC portfolio on behalf of CC Sawyer. This follows my move to the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. With our transformation programme due to conclude at the end of March 2020, it is possible that this national event could be the last of its kind. It marks a culmination of our work over the last three years and the increased focus it has placed on modern slavery.
We are all now very aware of the close connections between modern slavery, human trafficking and other forms of serious and organised crime. The inhuman and often brutal exploitation of children and vulnerable people now pervades much of the criminality we see in our towns and cities. The Modern Slavery Act provides additional opportunities and powers to tackle that crime and to protect those exploited by it. So although we are coming to the end of the Programme, in no sense are we winding down. I continue to be impressed by the range of activity the team has delivered in supporting the policing of modern slavery through this work. This is especially important now as we are working hard to complete the final projects planned before the end of March.
- Work with colleagues from the police, NCA, CPS, GLAA, Home Office and regional and organised crime units to tackle perennial issues through the Prosecutions Oversight Group and to enable more police investigations to result in case referrals to the CPS.
- Finalise and publish the last new items of investigative guidance, threat assessments, operational debriefing and training materials.
- Review and update our entire library of training and guidance materials to ensure they accurately reflect the latest process, best practice and learning.
- Finalise our review of the use and operational management of Modern Slavery Risk and Prevention Orders, and in turn release our recommendations and refreshed guidance.
- Arrange the training and technical development needed to support police forces in taking steps to operationalise the use of the PND to connect and share MSHT intelligence, promote cross force coordination and identify and safeguard vulnerable victims.
- Benchmark police forces against the recently launched ‘Slavery & Trafficking National Policing Standards 2020’ to identify reoccurring themes and challenges, or further examples of best practice.
- Assist in identifying examples from across policing to contribute to the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s call for evidence on the use of the Section 45 defence.
- Deliver a national analyst and researcher conference to share lessons learnt on how analytical work is being used to target policing activity on modern slavery.
- Bring together PCCs to share best practice in supporting the survivors of modern slavery, and on the latest efforts to coordinate local partnership initiatives.
Several members of our team are also supporting cross agency efforts to strengthen the national response to organized immigration crime. This follows the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants in a refrigerated lorry in Essex last October. This tragic event, together with the suffering of thousands of victims who continue to be trafficked, deceived, controlled and exploited across the UK, underpins our determination to do everything possible to stop offenders from profiting from the misery of others. We continue our focus on this and on the delivery of transformation initiatives to improve the policing response to these crimes.
At a personal level I want to thank the team, wider policing and our partners who have shown continuing and exceptional commitment in the development of the policing response to modern slavery and human trafficking over the past three years. For me, this response is genuinely unrecognisable from when I first started investigating trafficking in 2013. The collective impact has been incredible and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with you all.