Launch: IASC publishes a review on the use of modern slavery risk and prevention orders
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton has today published a review on the use of modern slavery risk and prevention orders.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the respective Human Trafficking and Exploitation Acts for Scotland and Northern Ireland created slavery and trafficking risk and prevention orders (STROs/STPOs) and trafficking and exploitation risk and prevention orders (TEROs/TEPOs). They are important tools to control a perpetrators behaviour by placing restrictions upon the activities of individuals believed to be at risk of offending.
In September 2021 Dame Sara asked the Detective Inspector Tim Evans, seconded to the IASC office from the North Wales Police, to review the deployment of orders following previous concern about the failure by law enforcement to effectively use the available legislation. Through a call for law enforcement practitioner insights and interviews with selected respondents and identified leads, existing barriers and good practice to mitigate were identified.
Whilst approximately 300 orders have been granted since 2015 there is evidence that risk orders remain under-utilised. Guidance and training have increased awareness and expertise and case studies demonstrate how orders are being used successfully to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups, prevent further offending, and safeguard potential victims.
The report concludes that more evidence led investigations which do not rely on victim testimony could lead to more orders which would disrupt criminal exploiters. Development of standard procedures to actively monitor individuals subject to risk and prevention orders would also increase effectiveness.
Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:
“The Modern Slavery Act provides valuable powers to disrupt slavers and traffickers. However, law enforcement agencies were slow to adopt them and concern has been expressed in the past about the failure to exploit their value. I was therefore keen that my office reviewed the deployment of Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders and Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders.
I have been encouraged to see an increase in their use and the genuine enthusiasm for these ancillary orders as tools to tackle offending. New guidance has been published and hubs of expertise are developing. While awareness has certainly increased, there is still potential to exploit risk orders much more in support of evidence led investigations.
These orders can be powerful tools to manage the risk posed by offenders but only if they are actively monitored and policed. Progress has been made but there is still work to do to build the enforcement architecture to exploit the full potential of these invaluable tools.”
Read the full report here.