Multi-agency group formed to tackle modern slavery

A new multi-agency group organised by the Shiva Foundation, Hertfordshire CC, the Hertfordshire Constabulary and the Police Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, has been formed to help staff identify and prevent modern slavery.

The partnership will combine efforts to tackle human trafficking and ensure support is available to the victims as well as encouraging them to share knowledge to improve best practice for putting a stop to unlawful employment.

The news comes as the government has cited there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of forced labour, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Backed by Prime Minister Theresa May, the partnership will also develop new referral pathways for victims of modern slaver which will feed into the existing National Referral Mechanism (NRM).

Cllr Meenal Sachdev, director of Shiva Foundation and councillor for Hertsmere, explained: “The Hertfordshire conference demonstrated how committed the region’s community is to tackling modern slavery. I emphasised the importance of bringing organisations out of their silos and working together to combat this issue, and I believe the Hertfordshire partnership we have established will bring that ethos to life.

“By sharing intelligence and expertise, we can ensure the statutory groups on the frontline are equipped to take action against criminals and support those who may be at risk. Partnering with key groups on a local level will help drive real change."

Sue Darker, lead officer for safeguarding at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “The Modern Slavery Conference was a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise, to showcase our great working relationships and to promote Hertfordshire as a county that is forward thinking in its approach to protecting and caring for those who may have been exploited or are currently at risk of being abused or neglected.”

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