Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Christian charity praises police's efforts to tackle modern slavery

A new report has found almost every part of the UK has been affected by modern slavery.

The independent review by MPs includes a broad range of offences including exploitation, forced labour and human trafficking.

There has also been a record number of cases involving children.

 

Louise Gleich, senior policy officer for human trafficking at Christian charity CARE told Premier while the report is "shocking", it's not all bad news.

"It's just incredible to think that there's been an over 700 per cent increase in the number of investigations involving children in relation to modern slavery.

"It's, of course, a really good sign that the police are getting better at understanding modern slavery and seeing it and identifying it and pursuing those investigations.

"And it's great to know that the police are taking these issues really seriously and finding these children and hopefully bringing them some support and assistance."

 

The number of "live" police investigations under the modern slavery act where children are involved has risen from 53 in 2017 to 475 this year, according to the co-ordinating Government-funded police unit.

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer, who leads the National Police Chiefs' Council on modern slavery, described on Wednesday the number of children being targeted as "staggering".

"Our children are being criminally and sexually exploited in a way we did not comprehend before," he added.

Gleich said more needs to be done to tackle slavery in the country.

"We really need to keep up this level of engagement. We need the police and all the other agencies to continue to get better at identifying possible victims, and really take this on to the next level.

"And of course, we must make sure that these live investigations turn into prosecutions so that those who are exploiting children are held responsible, and that those children themselves are given support and assistance to help move beyond this exploitation that they've experienced."

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