To receive a presentation from Cumbria Police Authority (copy enclosed).
Members received a presentation from Sandra Radcliffe, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Co?ordinator. The presentation included the following statistics:-
Ø In 2018 there were 6,994 referrals of potential victims of modern slavery reported into the Competent Authority; this was a 36% increase on the 2017 total.
Ø Between 1 April and 30 June 2019 there were 2,320 referrals of potential victims of modern slavery, which was an increase on the previous quarter of 8% and a 40% increase on the same quarter in 2018.
Ø UK Nationals were the highest referred nationality, the majority of which were minors at the time of referral.
Ø The number of minors referred had increased by 48% compared with 2017.
Ø The most common type of exploitation for both adults and minors was labour which included criminal exploitation.
The Committee received information regarding the different types of exploitation which included sexual, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, forced criminality and removal of organs. It was explained that, with the exception of the removal of organs, all other types of exploitation had been reported in Cumbria.
Members were informed of the National Referral Mechanism; a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery and ensuring the appropriate support was received. It was explained that, if required, potential victims would be allocated a place within Government funded safe house accommodation. The Committee noted that victims would be offered support which included relevant legal advice, protection and independent emotional and practical help.
The Committee was informed of the new Unseen App and the Safer Car Wash App which had been developed to allow the public to report any signs of modern slavery to a Helpline. Members were encouraged to report any concerns as appropriate.
Members were informed that the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Co?ordinator post had an initial two years funding. It was explained that the role and expectation included the introduction of a guidance document which would include information from a number of partner organisations, including the Local Safeguarding Board, which would provide help and guidance for victims. It was emphasised that exploitation could not be eradicated and the importance of raising awareness was highlighted.
A discussion took place regarding the sources of intelligence, it was suggested that the Inland Revenue could also be pro-active in this and asked whether they were involved in the process. The Co?ordinator agreed to investigate this further and report back.
The Committee discussed all forms of intelligence and co?ordination with local businesses in communities, and local shops was highlighted as a possibility. Members were informed that information was made available to service stations and larger supermarkets but agreed local communities should also be included. It was agreed that discussions would take place with local voluntary groups to consider this further.
During the course of discussion a query was raised regarding discussions taking place with groups of non UK residents to help them understand information. It was suggested this could be included in local schools as part of other classes which were available to parents. The idea was welcomed and it was suggested that the Department of Works and Pensions also be included. It was agreed the Co?ordinator would investigate this matter further.
A discussion took place regarding communications with adults with learning disabilities who lived independently. Members were informed that the Cumbria Safeguarding Adults Board had held training days, which included a number of safeguarding groups, to raise awareness.
The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Co?ordinator for her informative presentation.