Priority 2: Law enforcement & criminal justice
To promote an improved law enforcement and criminal justice response across the UK, to support development and adoption of effective training and to drive improvements in data collection

Why law enforcement & criminal justice response?


At present modern slavery in the UK is viewed by criminals as a high profit and low risk crime. In 2014 the Home Office estimated that there were between 10,000 – 13,000 potential victims of modern slavery across the UK. In the same year, just 2,340 potential victims were referred to the National Referral Mechanism.

Very few modern slavery crimes come to the attention of police and criminal justice agencies, and minimal modern slavery offenders are caught and convicted. The Modern Slavery Act has given law enforcement and prosecutors the tools they need; it is essential that they now use these tools to their full effect. Proactive policing and rapid, sustained responses that disrupt entire criminal networks are particularly important in investigating this serious and often organised crime. If traffickers are not relentlessly pursued they will simply continue to source and exploit more victims.

Evaluating law enforcement responses across the UK will enable the identification of best practice and examination of areas where there must be improvement.

Areas of focus


Related News & Insights


News | 15 March 2017
UN Security Council Debate on trafficking in persons in conflict situations: forced labour, slavery and other similar practices Remarks of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE As the United Kingdom’s first appointed Independent...
News | 08 March 2017
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, has launched a new research project mapping modern slavery partnerships across the UK. To combat modern slavery in the UK, a number of ‘partnerships’ have...
News | 22 February 2017
The protection of vulnerable children at risk of exploitation in forms of modern slavery is a core priority for the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE. In a written statement, the Commissioner shares his views on: Safe refuge for...
News | 17 February 2017
Last week I joined the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All-Holiness Bartholomew of Constantinople, for a forum on modern slavery – ‘Sins Before Our Eyes’. Over two days, in the company of scholars, practitioners...
News | 16 February 2017
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, in collaboration with The University of Nottingham, would like to map the current evidence base on contemporary slavery (including human trafficking), especially as it has an impact on the United Kingdom. The...
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