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This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

First published
Written by College of Policing
Major investigation and public protection
8 mins read

Crown Prosecution Service complex case units

Telephone: +44 (0)20 3357 0899

Email: [email protected]

Modern slavery cases are managed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in 15 regional complex casework units, which handle cases that are substantial, complex or have an international element. The units can offer expert legal guidance to the police during a modern slavery investigation, including advice on cultural issues that may influence a case.

Crown Prosecution Service liaison magistrates

CPS liaison magistrates are prosecutors, judges or magistrates who usually work from the host country’s Ministry of Justice. They facilitate and advise on extradition and mutual legal assistance between the host country and the UK, aiming to increase the speed and effectiveness of judicial cooperation.

They offer the UK police:

  • help with drafting and transmitting letters of request (LOR) to the host country and vice versa
  • updates about UK letters of request
  • liaison with host country authorities to speed up the process
  • advice on evidence and help to resolve conflicts of jurisdiction
  • advice on executing European arrest warrants

CPS liaison magistrates are currently based in France, Spain, Italy, the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland (PPSNI)

Telephone: +44 (0)28 9054 2444

Email: [email protected]

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in Scotland

Telephone: landline +44 (0)84 4561 3000, mobile +44 (0)13 8973 9557

Email: [email protected]

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA)

Telephone: +44 (0)345 602 5020

Email: [email protected]

The GLAA investigates offences of unlicensed gangmasters or gangmasters using unlicensed companies, where they may also be committing offences of modern slavery, and ensures that those who are licensed meet the standards set by the GLAA in order to retain their licence. It regulates the activities of gangmasters in the agriculture, horticulture, shellfish gathering, and food and drink processing and packaging sectors, in accordance with the Gangmasters (Licensing) Act 2004. The GLAA:

The GLAA is not empowered to investigate modern slavery offences specifically. These offences often run in parallel to the unlicensed provision of labour and can be identified by the GLAA enforcement and compliance functions.

Immigration Enforcement Command and Control Unit

Telephone: +44 (0)3000 134 999

This unit conducts checks on foreign nationals.

Home Office Immigration Compliance and Enforcement ‒ Risk and Liaison Overseas Network (RALON)

RALON operates from over 50 locations worldwide. It works to reduce cross-border crime into the UK, including human trafficking, by detecting and sharing intelligence on potential criminal activity at ports of entry, exit and transit. This information is disseminated to the UKVI and partner law enforcement agencies in the UK and abroad.

Over 100 RALON immigration liaison staff are posted overseas. The officers have trained carriers on routes that are commonly used by traffickers to enable them to identify perpetrators and their victims. They prevent inadequately documented passengers from travelling to the UK. The following countries have at least one RALON post:

Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh Brazil, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malaysia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the USA, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.

Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU)

Telephone: +44 (0)84 4778 2406

Fax: +44 (0)87 0496 5534

Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

This is part of the National Crime Agency and provides the following services:

  • competent authority for the national referral mechanism (NRM) and advises on how to complete the NRM form
  • tactical operational advisers available 24/7/365 who provide advice on the investigation, pre-planned operations or ‘live’ advice in retrospective investigations, and victim and witness care
  • intelligence development team which develops assessments, and acts as a central trafficking intelligence repository
  • partnership engagement on protection and safeguarding nationally and internationally across law enforcement, government, third sector, civil society, private sector and media

National Document Fraud Unit

The NDFU provides information on genuine, forged, counterfeit and fantasy documents to law enforcement agencies nationally and overseas. The contact details should not be divulged to members of the public. Foreign nationals enquiring about lost passports should be advised to contact their UK Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

NCA CEOP Command

Telephone: +44 (0)87 0000 3344

This operates in the UK and overseas to identify and prosecute online and offline child sex offenders, including those involved in the production, distribution and viewing of child abuse material.

The Salvation Army

Telephone: +44 (0)30 0303 8151

Email: [email protected]

This charity currently holds the Adult Human Trafficking Victim Care and Coordination contract funded by the UK government, which means that if a potential adult victim of modern slavery is referred into the NRM, The Salvation Army (SA) is contracted to provide them with:

  • secure accommodation
  • a recovery and reflection period of at least 45 days from the time the SA is contacted to the time the competent authority makes a conclusive grounds decision
  • access to health services and treatment, specialist counselling, criminal and immigration-related legal advice, education
  • support to contact family and friends
  • an exit plan

UK Missing Persons Bureau

Telephone: +44 (0)84 5000 5481

Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

The Missing Persons Bureau is the UK national and international point of contact for missing person and unidentified body cases. It provides the following services to police forces:

  • national and international cross-matching of outstanding missing individuals with unidentified people, bodies and remains
  • procedural assistance regarding effective retrieval and retention of forensic material
  • tactical advice and support on suspicious cases, such as suspected homicide and no-body murders, and cold case reviews
  • access to specialist advice
  • collation and dissemination of good practice in missing person enquiries
  • provision of training to forces on missing and unidentified case investigations

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)

Telephone: +44 (0)16 1261 1640/+44 (0)11 3341 2152

Email: [email protected]

This is part of the Home Office and fulfils the following functions:

  • competent authority for the NRM
  • receives automatic referrals from the UKHTC for cases of non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) nationals who are subject to immigration control
  • receives referrals for cases of non-EEA nationals with no active immigration issues after the UKHTC has completed the reasonable grounds decision
  • processes applications for permission to enter and stay in the UK, and applications to become a British citizen
  • carries out immigration and customs checks to protect the UK border
  • controls migration to limit non-EU economic migrants and minimise abuse of all migration routes
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