The Commissioner's Team

The Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner includes staff members with a background in law enforcement, policy, victim support, research, human rights and those with years of general experience in the UK’s anti-slavery sector.

April McCoig
Victims and Partnership Lead

April McCoig is the Victims and Partnership Lead at the Office of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. She joined the team in February 2020 to support the delivery of the Commissioner’s work to improve the quality of victim care and support. This includes activity to encourage better identification and referral of victims, to ensure effective support for child victims and to promote the development of positive, longer term outcomes for survivors that enables them to live a life of sustainable independence. As such, she works closely with stakeholders across the public and Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) sector in order to understand the current challenges in relation to victim identification and support as well as to identify examples of good practice.

April is currently seconded from Thames Valley Police where she spent the last three years as the force’s Anti-Slavery Co-ordinator, working to improve the wider partnership response to modern slavery. Whilst in this role, April co-ordinated the development of county-wide, multi-agency Anti-Slavery Networks and was closely involved in establishing a Thames Valley wide service commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide specialist support for those affected by exploitation and those with complex needs; Victims First: Willow Project. This service supported over 400 people in its first year and is now regarded as an example of good practice nationally.

Emma Crates
Prevention Lead

Emma is Prevention Lead at the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, working with industry, the public sector, enforcement bodies and NGOs to develop more effective ways of detecting and fighting modern slavery in the workplace.

A former business journalist, Emma has written for a variety of publications, covering the built environment, supply chains, technology and human rights. She has been researching modern slavery since 2014 and is author of three reports on modern slavery for the Chartered Institute of Building, examining how business models, recruitment and procurement practices can contribute to exploitation, both domestically and internationally. Before joining the IASC office, she worked closely with CIOB on industry engagement with anti-slavery initiatives.

In her current role Emma is exploring best practice, drivers of change and the role that technology can play in detecting and preventing exploitation. She is also interested in industry initiatives to support survivors in their recovery.

Jenna Teasdale
International Lead

Jenna Teasdale is the International Lead at the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. She joined the team in Autumn 2019 as the Research and Innovation Lead to support delivery of the Commissioner’s work to maximise value from research and ensure it informs both policy and practice. Jenna first developed an interest in human trafficking whilst completing an MSc in Countering Organised Crime and Terrorism at University College London in 2012.

She began her career as a Border Force Officer and member of the Heathrow Safeguarding and Trafficking team, providing immediate support to potential victims and assisting with multi-agency operational activity. She has subsequently worked as an intelligence analyst, leading on modern slavery and human trafficking for Border Force Intelligence Analysis and undertaking a secondment to the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit. Most recently Jenna worked as Senior Intelligence Analyst in the Office of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement, leading on joint working and intelligence sharing for the 2019/20 Labour Market Enforcement Strategy.

Katherine Lawson
Research and Innovation Lead

Katherine Lawson is the Research and Innovation Lead at the Office of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. She joined the team in early 2018 and has held posts as a Policy Officer and Communications Officer. 

She previously worked at the research institute Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, for five years focused on UK-Africa relations. In this capacity she researched and wrote reports on the illegal wildlife trade and on landmine clearance in Africa. Whilst at Chatham House she co-ordinated two All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) on Nigeria and Angola. The Nigeria APPG conducted a research visit to Nigeria in 2018 which examined shared approaches to tackling human trafficking from Nigeria to the UK.

Jessica Roberts
Communications Officer

Jessica Roberts is the Communications Officer at the Office of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. She joined the team in Summer 2021 after returning to London from New York, where she held a marketing role in a major financial data services business.

She has previous marketing and communications experience in the international trade sector, developing a market data-sharing platform and managing corporate events for a leading global shipbroking firm. During her time in the private sector she acted as an ambassador for an anti-slavery organisation, representing them at events such as The McCain Institute’s Combatting Human Trafficking Symposium in Washington D.C.

Tim Evans
Law Enforcement Policy Lead

Tim Evans is the current Law Enforcement Policy Lead at the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, joining the team in September 2021.  Currently seconded from North Wales Police, Tim is a Detective Inspector who prior to this role led the force Exploitation Unit, responsible for the strategic response to slavery and trafficking, multi-agency safeguarding coordination for Child Exploitation and, On-Line Child Abuse Investigation Team.  Working collaboratively with partners, Tim developed the modern slavery three year strategy and delivery plan on behalf of the North Wales Vulnerability and Exploitation Strategic Partnership.

Previously working within Professional Standards, Tim’s ethos is to create a culture of learning and development.  In 2020, he developed the force complaints system, working with the National Complaints and Misconduct Working Group to deliver the regulatory changes on behalf of the police service.  In 2020, Tim completed post-graduate education in Advanced Policing Studies at Liverpool John Moores University (MSc with Distinction), his research focussed upon organisational measures to prevent the behaviour of those who abuse their position of trust for sexual or emotional gain.  Tim has subsequently supported peer-reviews with the Vulnerability, Knowledge and Practice Programme.

Ed Bateman
Chief of Staff

Ed Bateman is the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Chief of Staff, supporting Dame Sara Thornton coordinate and deliver the key aims of her Strategic Plan 2019-2021.

Prior to joining the IASC in March 2020, Ed was at the Security Industry Authority (SIA) where he led on enforcement, investigations and safeguarding for six years.

Ed was a London police office for 35 years serving mostly in central and south east London boroughs. His most challenging but rewarding post was three years as the operational lead at Peckham immediately following the tragic death of Damilola Taylor. His final posts as a chief superintendent were with the MPS government affairs department, the diversity and communities team and head of security at the Palace of Westminster.

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