More than two million people work in local government across the UK, undertaking a wide range of vital jobs in the community - from housing and licensing officers, to environmental health officers and social workers.
Council staff are the eyes and ears of a community, coming into daily contact with local residents, business owners and visitors. Through their day-to-day activities staff may encounter victims of modern slavery and uncover activities linked to modern slavery crime.
For instance, housing officers may come across potential victims living in substandard accommodation when inspecting houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs), councillors may hear concerns from residents about particular businesses or houses in their area, and children’s safeguarding services may come across children who have been trafficked or exploited.
It is therefore crucial that council staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities in addressing modern slavery.
This high level guide for councils in England, produced in collaboration with the Local Government Association (LGA), provides an overview of the steps councils can take to understand and tackle modern slavery in their area. The guide covers:-
- Identification and referral of victims
- Safeguarding and supporting victims
- Community safety and disrupting modern slavery crimes
- Public procurement (ensuring that council supply chains are slavery-free)
To launch the guide we will be running five events across England between January and March 2018, which are free to attend for all council staff.
- 17th January – London
- 25th January – Newcastle Upon Tyne
- 31st January – Manchester
- 27th February – Bristol
- 7th March - Nottingham
You can sign up to attend any of these events through the LGA website. We hope you can join us.