Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

PCC Modern Slavery Lead welcomes release of “It Still Happens Here: Fighting UK Slavery in the 2020s” report

13th July 2020

Commenting following the release of the “It Still Happens Here: Fighting UK Slavery in the 2020s” report from the Centre for Social Justice, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and National APCC Lead on Modern Slavery, Mark Burns-Williamson said:

“Modern day slavery remains a very real and ongoing threat to our communities, which this latest report makes abundantly clear.

“It is a subject that I am personally committed to tackling and for many years I have campaigned both locally and nationally to raise awareness of the signs.

“This is having an impact, but as we can see from these findings, only a small percentage of the public recognise the indicators and we have to share this knowledge further and shine a spotlight upon this crime.

“This why I have lent my full support to the commissioning of this report, contributing evidence and examples of good practice, such as the longer term support pathway available for victims in West Yorkshire and the pro-active approach we have taken.

“It is, however, crucial that we understand more about the scale of the issue and what further work must be done to address it.

“Given that a focus of this report has been in West Yorkshire, it makes it particularly relevant and demonstrates that this issue remains on our doorstep and it is not a problem only experienced elsewhere.

“We have seen instances locally where the tobacco trade has been used to take advantage of vulnerable people and we know that benefit fraud is also widespread as an avenue of exploitation.

“I really welcome the recommendations of the report, which come at no better time, given some of the recent high profile examples that we have seen up and down the country.

“I will continue to lobby Government for additional survivor rights and more stringent laws to remove these opportunities from the perpetrators of this terrible crime, which I know can have truly damaging effects.”