Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland (CJI) today published its first in-depth assessment of how the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland deals with modern slavery and human trafficking.

 The inspection report examines the work carried out by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Public Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland (PPS) to investigate and prosecute cases of modern slavery and human trafficking, and how both organisations engaged with victims. 

Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:

 “I welcome the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland’s assessment of how the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland deals with modern slavery and human trafficking and look forward to seeing how the PSNI, Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland and Ministry for Justice respond to the report’s recommendations”.

 “I particularly welcome the recommendation that the Department for Justice together with other agencies should re-examine the need for Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders in Northern Ireland. The experience of forces in England and Wales is that STROs are an effective tool to both restrain offenders and protect the vulnerable and I am very pleased that this has been recognised in the report”.

 “I am not surprised that the report recognises some of the excellent work already happening in Northern Ireland such as the effective working relationship between the specialist prosecutors in the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland and Police Officers in the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit. This mirrors my experience of visiting Northern Ireland where I am repeatedly impressed by the collaborative culture of agencies, NGOs and community initiatives and their broad commitment to tackling Modern Slavery”.