How does police guidance deal with investigating modern slavery?

First time national police guidance is developed on modern slavery

​Estimates have shown the number of victims of modern slavery in the UK could be as high as 13,000.

We have now published national policing guidance, known as Authorised Professional Practice, on our website for consultation to get the views of the public, charities and others involved in tackling modern slavery.
The consultation closes on 13 March 2015.

It has been written to give frontline officers instant access to the latest information on investigating modern slavery offences and protecting victims from human trafficking and forced labour.

It is the first time the police service has developed specific national guidance on this area of public protection.

The professional guidance highlights:

  • Victims are often very vulnerable but may not appear to be so. Training on how to identify and apply the indicators is essential to spot a potential victim.
  • There is no definitive victim profile - it can happen to anyone.
  • Early financial investigation in tandem with criminal investigation is very important in order to access the organised crime groups behind the slavery offences quickly and to recover assets.
  • The global nature of modern slavery offences means that victims and offenders are often of diverse national, ethnic and religious backgrounds. It is very useful to have knowledge and an understanding of these when working on such an investigation.

National policing lead for modern slavery Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said:

“The police service across the UK is committed to combating modern slavery, which is a global problem with an estimated 20-30 million victims worldwide.

“Contrary to common belief, modern slavery is prevalent even here in our own country and it has recently been estimated that there are currently up to 13,000 victims of slavery in the UK.

“For the police service, our overriding focus is to improve our ability to identify, rescue and support victims and in doing so ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.

“The Authorised Professional Practice for modern slavery which has been developed with the College of Policing will be an invaluable tool in the policing response to, and the investigation of, modern slavery.”

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