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Deputy Mayor praises GMP's work on modern slavery

24/10/2017

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Bev Hughes has praised Greater Manchester Police's response to the scourge of modern slavery, following the publication of an inspection report

The report, by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, called for a concerted and concentrated effort by British policing to respond to modern slavery.

But it had significant praise for how GMP has led the way on the issue.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Bev Hughes said: “It’s almost unthinkable that in Britain in 2017 men, women and children are forced into slavery – but that’s what happening right here in Greater Manchester and across the country.

“This report by the Inspectorate shines a welcome light on one of the most complex areas of modern policing, and I’m really pleased to see that the fantastic work by Greater Manchester Police has been recognised by the inspectors. The policing response to this barbaric and degrading practice must be effective and sophisticated, and the report shows GMP is leading the way. And as a wider society we must all take a stand to say that we will simply not tolerate slavery in 21st Century Britain.”

Find out more about the inspection, and read the full report, here.

Meanwhile, GMP has launched a new campaign to stop criminal gangs from grooming children and vulnerable adults to commit crime.

The campaign, known as ‘Trapped’, aims to raise awareness of criminals who are grooming and exploiting children and young adults to commit crime on their behalf.

Offenders take victims from urban areas to the countryside or coastal areas to sell drugs. Sometimes victims are trafficked closer to home, and are moved around Greater Manchester.

As well as drug dealing, victims are sometimes asked to carry out other forms of criminal activity such as arson, violent offences, storing firearms, holding money, criminal damage or assault.

Offenders use coercive behaviour to threaten and exploit victims and their families.

Victims can become trapped in a spiral of debt and intimidation but there is a way out and today police are joining local authorities, school representatives and community groups at Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey to take a stand against these types of exploitation.

Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle from GMP’s Serious Crime Division said: “Offenders use intimidation to exploit and control children and vulnerable adults to carry out criminal activity on their behalf.

people they are targeting are often singled out because they may have a troubled life at home, are in the care system or are being bullied and looking for protection.

“Those being subjected to these hideous crimes are victims, not criminals, and I want to reassure anybody who feels trapped that there is a way out and we will listen to what you have to say.”

Bev added:  “The exploitation of another human being for personal gain is vile and unforgivable. That many of those exploited are vulnerable children is especially abhorrent, and we will do all we can to prevent children and young people falling prey to these criminals.

“Whether a young person or an adult, help is available, and the police and other partner agencies are working together to support victims and bring those responsible to justice. This campaign will help people recognise when they are being targeted for exploitation and tell them how to get help and report it.”

Some signs that a young or vulnerable person could be ‘Trapped’ and need help are:

  • Young people going missing and travelling to seaside or market towns
  • School absence or missing from school
  • Money, clothes or accessories which they are unable to account for
  • Receiving an excessive amount of texts and phone calls
  • Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups
  • Carrying weapons
  • Significant decline in school results / performance
  • Self-harm or significant changes in emotional wellbeing

GMP have made a video, which you can view at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLhGpS1f-F0