Part 4 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 sets out the role of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. The Commissioner is to encourage good practice in the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of slavery and human trafficking offenses, as well as in the identification of victims. The Commissioner submits annual reports, which are laid before Parliament, setting out the extent to which objectives and priorities are achieved.
Dame Sara Thornton CBE QPM is the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner responsible for encouraging good practice in the prevention and detection of modern slavery and the identification of victims. She was the first Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council from 2015 to 2019.
Sara joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986 and in 2000 transferred to Thames Valley Police on promotion to Assistant Chief Constable. Following four years as Deputy Chief Constable she was appointed Chief Constable in 2007. She contributed significantly to national policing during this time and was the national lead on intelligence, Vice-Chair of ACPO Terrorism and Allied Matters, Director of the Police National Assessment Centre and ACPO Vice-President.
Sara is a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies, the Advisory Board for the Oxford University Centre for Criminology and a trustee and board member of the Police Foundation. She is a graduate of Durham University, also holding a Master of Studies (MSt) degree in Applied Criminology and Police Management from Cambridge University alongside honorary doctorates from Oxford Brookes University and Buckinghamshire New University.
Sara was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2006 and made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019. She has also been recognised with a Career Achievement Award from the Police Training Authority Trustees and the Sir Robert Peel Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Evidence-Based Policing. She is an honorary Air Commodore in the Royal Air Force supporting the work of the auxiliary police squadron.
“I am delighted to take up this crucial role as the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. I am determined to build on the good work of my predecessor and look forward to bringing my experience in policing, supporting victims of crime, to bear in this role.
Last year, a record number of nearly 7,000 potential victims of modern slavery were submitted to the National Referral Mechanism. The true number of victims of this crime is undoubtedly far higher, and I want to ensure that prevention of modern slavery and the provision of adequate support for all victims and survivors in the UK remains at the heart of our response.
I welcome the opportunity to work in collaboration with stakeholders across the sector as I drive the UK’s response to ending this cruel exploitation against the most vulnerable.”
Dame Sara Thornton CBE QPM, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
Dame Sara speaks to @BBCr4today - "[business] compliance with #modernslavery requirements has been very slow. It's not just about writing statements, it's about rooting out slavery in their supply chains."
Dame Sara Thornton has commented on the Government response to the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act. Read her statement: http://www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/news-insights/dame-sara-thornton-statement-government-response-to-the-independent-review/ …
Dame Sara Thornton comments on the exposure of the UK’s largest #modernslavery network: “This case sends a strong message to all traffickers that we will not tolerate their brutal criminality.” http://www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/news-insights/dame-sara-thornton-comments-on-the-exposure-of-uks-largest-modern-slavery-network/ …
Dame Sara Thornton has published her latest blog on listening to survivors, the role of business and supporting law enforcement: http://www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/news-insights/iasc-blog-listening-to-survivors-the-role-of-business-and-supporting-law-enforcement/ …
Dame Sara Thornton has commented on the conviction of three men for modern slavery offences, in a labour exploitation case which “illustrates the importance of companies ensuring that modern slavery statements are not a box ticking exercise” http://www.antislaverycommissioner.co.uk/news-insights/iasc-statement-on-the-conviction-of-three-gangmasters-for-modern-slavery-offences/ …