West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner attends Anti-Trafficking Network Workshop (3 Sept 2015)

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson today attended a West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network workshop.

The workshop compromised of running through a hypothetical case of large scale human trafficking in the region with the aim of developing a reliable multi-agency response in West Yorkshire should such a situation occur.

The exercise covered all aspects of safeguarding, including identifying potential victims, removing them from danger and referring them into the National Referral Mechanism (NRM).
The event was organised by the West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network (WYATN) and brought together a number of key partners from across West Yorkshire including the police, Border Force, Crown Prosecution Service, Adult and Child Safeguarding, Housing and Health.

The Police and Crime Commissioner opened the event and worked with partners on the exercise.

The WYATN was created by anti-human trafficking charity Hope for Justice in conjunction with West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner after he was awarded £200,000 from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to create and lead the network.

Mark Burns-Williamson said "I welcome today's workshop which shows that the Anti-Trafficking Network is identifying issues across West Yorkshire in relation to human trafficking and working to tackle them.

"Partnership working is key, especially in times of severe Government cuts, and I hope today that partners left with a clearer understanding of the process of identifying victims and referring them into the NRM.

"I am also progressing with the creation of a National Modern Slavery Network together with the Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners which will provide a forum for Police and Crime Commissioners, the National Police Chiefs Council and partners come together to share working practices, awareness raising strategies and establish strategic partnerships on a national level.

"Tackling these issues is ever more relevant given the recent worldwide events and the opportunities for human trafficking exploitation to take place."

The National Referral Mechanism was introduced in 2009 and is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking and ensuring they receive the appropriate protection and support. The NRM grants a minimum 45-day reflection and recovery period for victims of human trafficking. Trained case owners decide whether individuals referred to them should be considered to be victims of trafficking according to the definition in the Council of Europe Convention.

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