Over the weekend of 21 to 23 April 2017, almost 60 representatives from police, non-governmental, academic, private sector and government backgrounds gathered at Cumberland Lodge for the annual police conference, on ‘Eliminating Slavery: Enhancing the Police Response’.
The conference addressed the pressing issue of modern slavery, its implications for policing, and priorities for the police response. Participants analysed the unique challenges that modern slavery presents for policing and highlighted the amount of progress that has been made in this regard over the last 10 years.
Changes in the political landscape have brought modern slavery to the forefront of legislation, policy-making and policing. Whilst modern slavery used to be viewed chiefly in terms of sexual exploitation, it is now recognised to cover a range of exploitative offences, such as labour exploitation and forced marriage.
And although progress has been made in strengthening legislation, and in improving awareness of modern slavery amongst front-line service providers, the war against it has yet to be won.
This conference report covers the following areas.
Celebrating a Decade of Progress - broadening understanding, increased effort, political will, leading by example
A Challenging Landscape Remains - intersectional nature of the problem, links to consumerism, cross-border dimensions, the 'intelligence gap', victim needs
Overcoming the Challenges: Improving the Response - tackling demand and empowering the front line
Summary of Recommendations - key recommendations for law enforcement, first responders, PCCs, prosecutions, private sector organisations, increasing partnership engagement, and policy makers.
An Executive Summary can be downloaded in pdf format here.