The report states that there were 3,337 modern slavery offences recorded by police in England and Wales the year to March 2018, a 49% increase on the previous year.
Highlights of the report include:
• The commitment to catch and convict offenders. The report states prosecutions under the Modern Slavery Act more than double in 2017 to 130 defendants.
• The government spend on modern slavery is estimated at around £39 million in 2017/18 and £61 million in 2018/19. This attributed largely to the UK’s international activity, using Official Development Assistance (ODA).
• Significantly increasing support for identified victims, particularly children, with Independent Child Trafficking Advocates being appointed in the UK.
• Thousands of businesses have published modern slavery statements and companies have changed practices that were driving demand for modern slavery.
• The Home Office is writing directly to the chief executives of 17,000 businesses calling on them to open up about modern slavery in their supply chains, or risk being named as in breach of the law.
• Businesses with a turnover of more than £36 million must publish annual transparency statements, the Modern Slavery Statement, setting out what they are doing to stop modern slavery and forced labour practices occurring in their business and supply chains. At the moment, it is estimated that 60% of companies in the scope have published a statement, some of which are of poor quality or fail to meet the basic legal requirements.
For further information, please contact Jacqueline Kendal or the Partner with whom you usually deal.