THE public need to be made more aware of the signs of modern day slavery and human trafficking and the reporting mechanisms available in order to raise the amount of convictions, said West Yorkshire’s Police Crime Commissioner (PCC).
Mark Burns-Williamson was speaking at a national meeting for Human Trafficking Network Co-ordinators held at the University of Huddersfield.
Held under the banner of the University’s multi-disciplinary Secure Societies Institute, Dr Maria Ioannou, SSI’s Assistant Director, and Dr John Synnott, Senior Lecturer in Investigative and Forensic Psychology, hosted delegates at the forum from across the UK. The key-note speaker was Mr Burns-Williamson, who created the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network in 2016.
The public still needed to be reminded of the reporting mechanisms available in order to raise the amount of convictions
In his address he outlined his offices response and commitment to tackling the issue of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
Mr Burns-Williamson told the delegates that although awareness of modern day slavery and human trafficking was increasing, the public still needed to be reminded of the signs to look out for and how to report suspicious activity if the number of convictions was to rise.
Dr Ioannou and Dr Synnott had both worked closely over a number of months with representatives from the Police and Crime Commissioners Office for West Yorkshire, Hope of Justice Charity and the National Human Trafficking Foundation to bring the event to Huddersfield.
In attendance were senior figures in the police, co-ordinators of the regional response teams and charities against human trafficking.
Dr Ioannou in her capacity as Institutional Lead on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery gave a warm welcome to the delegates to get the meeting under way.