Left to right, Revd Liam O’Boyle, PCC Paddy Tipping, Gedling Borough Council Chief Executive John Robinson and PC Vanessa Wade
To coincide with national Anti-Slavery Day, Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, is launching a programme of action to tackle the increasing challenge of modern day slavery.
Modern slavery remains a largely hidden crime with the true scale of the problem unknown. However, local intelligence suggests that offences are on the increase.
With the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office, a new County and City Partnership has been established to:
- Raise awareness of modern slavery
- Better identify and support victims
- Disrupt the plans of perpetrators
As well as Police and Local Authority partners, the partnership seeks to work closely with national and local community organisations, including the Red Cross and Salvation Army, and Faith representatives.
The partnership’s programme of activity will include developing training, education and awareness programmes as well as sharing good practice and intelligence to address slavery and trafficking across the area. More will also be done to promote and advertise prosecutions and investigations as well as strengthening the way people can refer incidents of human trafficking.
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It’s a sad reality that slavery still exists across the world and closer to home across Nottinghamshire. Sometimes it’s people forced into prostitution; sometimes it’s people exploited for little or no pay; sometimes it’s children trafficked and exploited.
“Modern slavery takes various forms and here in Nottinghamshire, we want to throw a spotlight on the problem and sort it out. To start with, we need to find more about what is happening so we can better support victims and take swift and strong action against perpetrators, building on the robust approach to date in Nottinghamshire, which has seen people arrested and charged.”
Revd Liam O’Boyle, Partnerships Officer for the Church of England in Nottinghamshire said: “It’s almost beyond belief that in the 21st Century millions of people around the world are still pressed into the horrors of slavery, even here on our own doorstep in our city and county. This strikes at the heart of what it means for humanity to be created in God’s image. It dehumanises those who are victims, denying them their God given value and worth and robbing them of their dignity and autonomy.
“This gross injustice summons us to act as Christians of old - like William Wilberforce - with our prayer, advocacy and action. If we are to combat this evil, then faith communities must work together in partnership with the police, frontline charities and statutory authorities to prevent the crime, support the survivors and prosecute the criminals. The knowledge that churches and faith communities have of their local communities puts them on the frontline in this campaign. Together we must act.”
Sue Fish, Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Modern slavery affects some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and we need to work proactively with our partners in both the public and private sectors to tackle the issue.
“Our recent activity, as part of Operation Perceptional, takes a stand against trafficking and slavery, targeting those set on exploiting others within the UK.
“We have visited premises potentially being used as brothels and visited a selection of car washes in Nottingham. The over-riding objective of this activity remains to safeguard people who may be victim to modern slavery offences.”
- ENDS -
Left to right, Revd Liam O’Boyle, PCC Paddy Tipping, GBC Chief Executive John Robinson and PC Vanessa Wade
Anti-Slavery Day is on Tuesday 18 October and was created in 2010 by a Private Members Bill introduced by Anthony Steen CBE, then MP for Totnes. Since then it has grown significantly and each year more and more charities, individuals, local authorities and police forces take action to mark Anti-Slavery Day.
Modern Slavery is a worldwide issue which transcends age, gender and ethnicities. It can include victims that have been brought from overseas and vulnerable people in the UK being forced to illegally work against their will2 for little or no pay with restricted freedom of movement and substandard working or living conditions. The term Modern Slavery includes but is not limited to:
Forced labour - victims forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay in dire conditions. This can include ‘debt bondage’ where victims are forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to do
Forced criminality - victims forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pick pocketing against their will - often being controlled and maltreated
Sexual exploitation - victims forced to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts against their will, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography
Child trafficking - young people (under 18) moved either internationally or domestically so they can be exploited
Domestic servitude - victims forced to carry out housework and domestic chores in private households with little or no pay, restricted movement and limited free time or privacy
Posted on Tuesday 18th October 2016