Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens welcomes new legislation which strengthens the powers the police have to tackle modern slave drivers and give better protection to victims.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is the first of its kind in Europe and specifically addresses slavery and trafficking in the 21st century.
The new legislation strengthens powers available to police and introduces tougher sentences, sending a clear message to offenders that their actions are unacceptable and reassuring victims that they are not alone.
Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Slavery is closer than you think. It can take many forms and we cannot let it go on in our community.
“The Act will give the police greater powers and it has the opportunity to help the fight against this cruel trade in human life and, more importantly, it introduces some vital measures to further protect the victims of this awful crime.
“This year I included support for victims of modern slavery as part of my support services for victims. I am pleased that we are working closely with the charity Unseen to carry out a one-year pilot to test out how best to support victims, helping them to cope and recover.
“An anti-slavery partnership has been established in Bristol and I’ve provided funding for training and the expansion of the partnership, as well as a grant to Unchosen, to fund a series of films and awareness raising initiatives.
“I’ll be continuing to raise awareness of modern slavery and watching the work of the police and our partners to ensure we are all doing what we can to bring perpetrators to justice and protect those most at risk.”
Find out more by visiting http://www.unseenuk.org/
Posted on Friday 31st July 2015