West Yorkshire’s PCC praises West Midlands Modern Slavery Investigation which found over 400 victims (5 July 2019)

Speaking following the sentencing of an organised crime gang thought to have trafficked more than 400 victims across the West Midlands, Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), and Lead PCC on Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking said: "I really welcome today's sentencing and that justice has been served on behalf of an astonishing number of victims.

"I want show my appreciation not only for the tireless dedication and tenacity of the police investigators and key partners, but to the victims that showed immense bravery in coming forward initially as well as giving crucial evidence.

"This was a fantastic operation and serves as a real testament to just how far policing has come in helping to prosecute these offences, utilising the Modern Slavery Act and understanding appropriate victim support through the criminal justice process and system.

"The outcome also lays bare the importance of partnership working with organisations such as Hope for Justice, and other agencies in the sector not just to recognise and identify those who may have been trafficked but also the importance of consistent very vulnerable victim advocacy.

"This case really demonstrates the colossal difference that can be made to people's lives with even small pieces of intelligence being reported. If you suspect modern slavery or human trafficking then please contact the Modern Slavery Helpline and report your concerns on 08000 121 700 or visit www.modernslaveryhelpline.org.

"General indicators of human trafficking or modern slavery can include signs of physical or psychological abuse, fear of authorities, irregular activity at homes or addresses, poor living conditions and working long hours for little or no pay."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019