Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
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Commissioner supports World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
The Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the publciation of new leaflets aimed at raising awareness of modern salvery among taxi drivers and the general public. 
 
The leaflets – launched today (Monday July 30) on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, are to be distributed by the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership and will be given to drivers when they renew their licence. They follow on from the Partnership’s “Slavery can happen anywhere” campaign last year and are part of an on-going drive to raise public awareness of exploitation and trafficking.
 
The second leaflet for the general public will be handed out at enforcement operations or other awareness events run by partners. Both leaflets are packed with information about spotting the signs that someone might be being exploited and where to report any concerns.

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, said: “Tackling modern slavery requires a co-ordinated and united approach and this partnership has made great strides in bringing awareness to the public on how to spot the signs of modern slavery and identify potential victims.
 
“These leaflets will help businesses, like licensed taxi firms and the public be more informed to respond to and help suspected victims of modern slavery get the support they need. I am hopeful that this multiagency response will bring key offenders to justice and ensure a better outcome for victims.”
 
Sue Darker, Chair of the Partnership’s Steering Group, said: “Criminals can use taxis to move exploited people from location to location. It is vital taxi drivers know what to look out for and where they can report any concerns they have.
 
“Through the partnership more than 500 local authority, NHS and law enforcement workers in Hertfordshire have been trained on how to spot the signs of human trafficking and modern slavery.
 
“The work we have done so far has undoubtedly increased the number of potential victims identified and made Hertfordshire a harder place for criminals to exploit people.”*
 
The Partnership was set up in May last year and has been working to coordinate efforts to tackle these crimes in Hertfordshire. Recent developments from the Partnership include a new victim pathway for public sector professionals in Hertfordshire to ensure that they refer potential victims they come into contact with to the correct channels for support.
 
A support worker in Beacon – the Hertfordshire Victim Care Centre – will now be working with victims of trafficking and slavery, offering further support. Other notable achievements include successful multi-agency involvement in enforcement operations and welfare visits. Reception centre facilities for victims available 24/7 throughout the county has also been established for operations where there are five victims or more involved.
 
Anyone with concerns about human trafficking or modern slavery should call police via 101 or the national Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700. In an emergency call 999. The Beacon hotline 03000 11 55 55 is open from Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-5pm or visit the website www.hertfordshirebeacon.org for information and advice to access support.

Background

*From March 2017 to August 2017, police received eight modern slavery reports from partnership organisations; from September 2017 to February 2018 police received 24 and from March 2018 to the end of July, 29 reports from partnership organisations. The Modern Slavery Helpline received 14 reports from Hertfordshire in August 2017, up from two in the previous month. This followed a public awareness campaign by the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership.

The Partnership is made up of more than 40 organisations including the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Constabulary, the anti-trafficking and slavery charity Shiva Foundation, Hertfordshire Fire & Rescue Service and the 10 district and borough councils in the county. It also features a wealth of other charities and law enforcement organisations. The Partnership reports to the PCC’s Community Safety Board.