PCC relaunches Modern Slavery Network across Merseyside


Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, has relaunched the region’s Modern Slavery Network to redouble efforts to tackle the issue of slavery and trafficking and improve the support provided to victims.

The Modern Slavery Network brings partners and agencies to work closer together with a focus on combatting Modern Slavery and putting effective interventions in place to protect potential victims across the region.

Led by Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Jeanie Bell, the Network has been brought together to provide their insight and expertise on the issue of modern-day slavery, with a focus on identifying emerging themes to help prevent more people falling prey to the criminal gangs who seek to enslave the vulnerable.

The group, which met for the first time at Merseyside Police headquarters Rose Hill yesterday, will also unite with other local and national strategic networks, including the National Networks Co-ordinators Forum (NNCF), the Liverpool City Region Vulnerable persons group and the Liverpool City Region Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), to better understand and prevent the issue and safeguard victims.

The Network will also focus their efforts on producing a region-wide strategy focused on raising awareness and educating the public on the tell-tale warning signs of Modern Slavery, improving the response from police and other authorities, and supporting victims and survivors.

This will be supported by a public campaign focused on encouraging the public to report any concerns they have about slavery happening in their communities.

The re-launch of the Network is part of the PCC’s priority to Support Victims and build Safer Communities.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “It’s estimated that globally, almost 50 million people are living as slaves today. In the UK alone there are estimated to be more than 100,000 victims silently hidden in everyday places like car washes, brothels, nail bars and restaurants.

“Modern Slavery is real and it’s happening in our Merseyside neighbourhoods.

“Awareness and understanding has been gradually on the rise, but it isn’t enough. We need to do more to stop this horrific crime from happening and provide support to the services that are helping victims and survivors every single day.   

It is vital that those who have been subjected to enslavement receive ongoing and sustained care and support to ensure they can cope with the harm they have endured and have the best opportunity to rebuild their lives.”

Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Jeanie Bell said: “We must do everything possible to prevent and tackle the scourge of Modern Slavery in our communities.

The relaunch of the Network provides an important forum for partners from across Merseyside to come together to share knowledge and best practice to see how we can offer the best possible support to everyone affected by these issues, ensuring nobody falls between the gaps and vulnerable people get the support and care they need.

“We know that, by working in partnership, we can improve the way services are run, making a real difference to victims and empowering them to forge new lives free from control and coercion, while also ensuring those who seek to exploit innocent victims face justice.”