Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime welcomes Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Annual Report
The report highlights successes, such as the increase in prosecutions but doesn’t shy away from areas that need improving.
27th April 2022
Alison Lowe OBE, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and the Chair of the National Anti-Slavery Network, said: “I welcome this comprehensive and impactive annual report from Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
“I have worked closely with Dame Sara, building collaborations to tackle modern slavery and have benefited from her knowledge and passion, which has always been forthcoming, especially in her support of the National Anti-Slavery Network and the West Yorkshire Anti-Slavery Partnership.
“The report highlights successes, such as the increase in prosecutions but doesn’t shy away from areas that need improving. The perpetrators of modern slavery see it as a low risk, high reward crime. We need to turn that around, and we will, through dedicated local, regional and national investigations and prosecutions.
“Dame Sara has raised her concerns on aspects of the Nationality and Borders Bill which reflects my own views and I have also written to Government echoing and supporting these concerns.
“The need for greater financial investigations is also highlighted in the report and again this is important and links to the need for greater reparation for victims of modern slavery.
“Of concern, is the delays in a trafficking decision for victims by the Single Competent Authority (SCA). On average a victim waits 568 days for a decision, this is not acceptable.
“The pilots locally around decision making and Independent Child Trafficking Advocates are another positive from the report but this needs to be quickly rolled out across England and Wales, including local decision making for adult victims.
“Finally, it is important to thank Dame Sara for her work as the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner as she steps down from the role after 3 years. She has built collaboration, gathered the evidence and appropriately challenged to further the eradication of slavery, something which is at the forefront of the work here in West Yorkshire.”