West Yorkshire Police
West Yorkshire Police are committed to raising awareness of modern slavery which is often considered to be a ‘hidden crime’. The force response is driven by the Force Precision Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Team which consists of specialist investigators including detectives, police staff and a dedicated partnerships and training officer, who tackle and investigate modern slavery at a local, regional, national and international level.
They work within the serious and organised crime arena working in collaboration with district policing teams, other law enforcement agencies and partners across the West Yorkshire Anti- Slavery Network and beyond!
A pioneering initiative tackling County Lines was launched recently as part of Programme Precision, expanding the reach and proactive arm of the Force Precision Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery Team. This now incorporates the REDIVE County Lines Intensification & Co-ordination Hub embedded within Protective Services Crime. This brings together a team of specialists with a range of skills, knowledge and expertise combining the other areas of policing from serious organised crime, safeguarding and training and partnerships. The REDIVE Hub are targeting Modern Slavery and the links to the threat from the widespread threat of county lines drugs markets operating locally and across force boundaries.
This is strengthening West Yorkshire Police’s response firstly identifying Organised Exploitation of Vulnerable People (OEVP) then using a range of tactical options tackling this abhorrent criminality and safeguarding the most vulnerable people in society. The REDIVE Hub are developing a ‘Toolkit’ working in collaboration with all five Districts, building commitment, connectivity between district Safeguarding and Precision Organised Crime Teams implementing innovative work streams and sharing good practice.
The work is progressing and already improving the understanding, awareness of OEVP and County Lines within the organisation, partners and to local communities. This initiative is supporting County Lines and Modern Slavery investigations throughout the region. The Hub has unique access to and utilise a menu of tactics to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups that prey on our most vulnerable in society. The Hub has already made good progress to counter the problem, by developing a clearer intelligence picture, promoting an action led response addressing child criminal exploitation, and the growing issue around ‘cuckooing’ This focused response which combines the efforts of force resources working with partner agencies has already led to several successful operations resulting in arrests working towards keeping people safe and feeling safer.