Sandwell highlighted for good practice on tackling Modern Slavery
20 Jul 2020 by Mazeline Hemmings
Sandwell’s work to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking has been highlighted as a model of good practice in a new report. The report – It Still Happens Here: Fighting UK Slavery in the 2020s – has been released by the anti-slavery charity Justice and Care and the think tank Centre for Justice.
Initiatives by the multi-agency Sandwell Anti-Slavery Strategic Partnership led by Sandwell Council have been praised, including recruiting a Modern Slavery Coordinator, along with strong awareness-raising and training for staff.
The report also recognises the work of the Sandwell Slavery and Human Trafficking Operational Partnership (SHOP) – the operational group set up by the Strategic Partnership – which includes a range of agencies who are able to work together to protect victims, pursue offenders and disrupt modern slavery locations.
Councillor Joanne Hadley, cabinet member for safer communities, said: “It’s reassuring that the work of the Sandwell Anti-Slavery Strategic Partnership and its operational group SHOP, is being recognised at such a high level in this report.
“A number of successful operations to rescue victims and the arrest of criminals has already helped to give Sandwell’s work a regional and national reputation.
“It’s vital that the council works with the police and other partner organisations to combat modern slavery and human trafficking and identify and support the victims and survivors.”
Councillor Hadley also urged anyone spotting any signs of slavery to report it to the authorities.
Call the confidential Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 if you think you may be a victim of modern slavery, need help to seek safe accommodation and support or have seen something suspicious. People can also report through the Unseen app, which is available to download.