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Commissioner praises work to tackle modern slavery

1 June, 2016

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw joined officers working to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in Lancashire.

Mr Grunshaw, who has funded an additional two roles in Lancashire to help address this growing issue, went to see the work being done as part of modern slavery week.

The team, based at Burnley police station, has launched a series of complex investigations since it was set up in February – including the deportation of two Romanian nationals arrested in Blackburn suspected of trafficking women into the UK for prostitution.

Clive with DS Tony AtkinsMr Grunshaw said: “I was very impressed with the progress made to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking, which is an area of growing demand for police.

“These are complex problems and that is why I have provided funding to help improve our understanding of the situation in Lancashire and take the necessary action to protect the vulnerable victims we know are out there.

“The fact that, in just a few months, this team has already taken several people out of harm’s way shows just how vital this work is.”

Work with the force includes organising training for police and partner agencies including Lancashire Fire and Rescue, the NHS and social services to help raise awareness and understand the signs to look out for. The training sessions, provided by national charity Hope for Justice, have been attended by 250 people.

Feedback from the sessions, which teach people to spot the warning signs, has been overwhelmingly positive with attendees saying they now have a better understanding of the issues and how to respond to them.

As part of modern slavery week, officers across Lancashire are visiting various premises where labour exploitation can often occur, to raise awareness of the issue.

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