Modern Slavery is a devastating and growing crime in the UK with the current estimate of victims to be in excess of 12,000 (UK Home Office). Victims, including children are exploited for labour, sex drug smuggling and more.
In response, Justice and Care began a pioneering project designed in partnership with the Police Modern Slavery Transformation Unit, embedding two unique Victim Navigator roles in Surrey and Kent Police, to directly support victims of human trafficking and modern slavery in the UK. The Navigator’s provide independent victim-centric support to victims of trafficking as soon as they are rescued - helping them to understand their rights and choices, access the support services they need and navigate the criminal justice system. They also provide training and tactical advice to investigators and front line teams on the issue of slavery.
The Pilot has expanded rapidly with navigators now embedded in Essex Police, GMP, Border Force in Glasgow; and the Metropolitan Police to follow later this year. Lessons are being shared nationally from the pilot with relevant stakeholders including the National Crime Agency, NGO’s and Whitehall to inform policy and practice and it is poised to have a transformative impact on victim care nationally.