Multi-Agency Week of Action to Tackle Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Kirklees

Friday 22 February, 2019

A multi-agency week of action has been carried out across Kirklees to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery across the District.

This week (18-22 February) an operation led by detectives and neighbourhood policing teams at Kirklees District Police working in partnership with various agencies including Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority, Kirklees Housing, HM Revenue and Customs, Immigration Enforcement, Safer Kirklees, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Hope for Justice.

The aim of the week of action is to disrupt serious organised crime, identify any victims of crime and raise awareness about human trafficking and modern slavery in Kirklees District.

Officers and partner agencies attended various addresses and businesses in Batley, Dewsbury and Cleckheaton over the week. Potential victims were identified and have been offered support and advice, referrals made to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) and Immigration Enforcement arrested three people for Immigration offences.

Detective Inspector Damian Simpson, of Kirklees Safeguarding Unit, said: “Together with our partner agencies we have conducted an operation across Kirklees with the aim to disrupt any criminal activity linked to human trafficking and modern slavery.

“Modern slavery and human trafficking is a largely hidden crime and any proactive operations the police and other agencies can put together to help to tackle this serious crime and educate members of the public about how they can help us to do this. We often have intelligence come through to us by residents and communities which can prove vital to our investigations.

"Victims of human trafficking can be assured that any reports or intelligence received by West Yorkshire Police, will be thoroughly investigated by specially trained officers and will provide them with help and support throughout the investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I would urge anyone who has any information or concerns about a business premises or something in their local community to contact the police via 101.”

Marie Mannion, Individuals and Small Business Compliance, HMRC, said: “HMRC is helping to tackle modern slavery through taking part in joint operations with partner agencies as well as making better use of and sharing data lawfully with other law enforcement agencies.”

Cllr Naheed Mather, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Communities and Environment, said: “We want the communities of Kirklees to feel safe and be protected from harm. Through the Safer Kirklees Partnership, we are able to take strong action in identifying offenders and victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. We have raised awareness of this serious issue through training events and by going out into our communities to share information and open a dialogue. Different organisations working together will continue to make a difference and a have lasting impact on people’s lives."

This was part of Programme Precision – a new crackdown involving the Force and local partners to tackle serious and organised crime in West Yorkshire. For more information see https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/precision.

For more information about human trafficking and modern slavery, please visit the WYP website: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/advice/modern-slavery/modern-slavery-human-trafficking/everybodys-responsibility

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