08 July 2016 – 944.2015-16 – Freedom of information request – human trafficking and/or modern slavery
- Data on funding the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has allocated to activities related to human trafficking and/or modern slavery (for example, but not limited to: a dedicated unit, staff training, prevention, investigation, prosecution, awareness campaigns) within its force area for the years 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17. If this is not possible or too broad please refer to 1b)
- Data on any funding the PCC has allocated to activities related to human trafficking and/or modern slavery (for example, but not limited to: a dedicated unit, staff training, prevention, investigation, prosecution, awareness campaigns) within its force area since 2012. If this is not possible or too broad, please refer to 1c)
- Data on any funding the PCC has allocated to activities related to human trafficking and/or modern slavery (for example, but not limited to: a dedicated unit, staff training, prevention, investigation, prosecution, awareness campaigns) within its force area in 2014-15
- If the PCC hasn’t allocated any funding specifically to activities related to human trafficking and/or modern slavery (for example, but not limited to staff training, prevention, investigation, prosecution, awareness campaigns) within its force area since 2012 please confirm that in writing.
- Please provide details of the time period covered by the latest Police and Crime Plan.
- Does the latest Police and Crime Plan include any reference to human trafficking and/or modern slavery? Please answer yes or no.
- If the answer at 3b) is no, please provide any other document that may contain any plan specifically dedicated to human trafficking/modern slavery within the force area dating back to 2012.
- If the force area hasn’t had/doesn’t a plan specifically dedicated to human trafficking and/or modern slavery since 2012, can you please confirm that in writing.
Extent and Result of Searches to Locate Information
To locate the information relevant to your request searches were carried out within the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC).
I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by the OPCC.
I have today decided to disclose the located information to you.
There is no information held by the OPCC to answer this part of your request in relation to funding. However, as part of new local arrangements from 2014, and in line with the Victims Code of Practice improved and expanded services are available to all victims of crime in North Yorkshire. Victims of the most serious crimes, which specifically includes victims of sexual offences, human trafficking, kidnap, and false imprisonment are prioritised as Enhanced Entitlement Victims.
The Supporting Victims Service has been in place since April 2015, providing support for anyone affected by crime, whether reported or not, of any age, and including those affected by human trafficking and/or modern slavery. The service is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire. The service assesses individual victim need by asking questions to determine the impact of the crime. The service will offer:
- Immediate practical and emotional support over the telephone
- Referral to support staff based in their community to provide ongoing face to face support through a personalised plan
- Onward referrals to other local agencies can also be made as appropriate
- If a specific need is identified Supporting Victims can refer individuals to one of our specialist commissioned support services (described below).
The Commissioner has also funded a number of specialist commissioned support services which were established in October 2014 who can support those affected by trafficking and modern slavery through a wide range of issues which may have affected them depending on what type of industry a person has been forced to participate in:
- Independent Victim Adviser (IVA) Service and Community Volunteer Service: For all victims of crime (excluding Sexual and Domestic abuse): The IVA service and the Community Volunteer Service will provide a single point of contact for practical and emotional support from the point of crime, throughout the criminal justice process and beyond to enable victims to cope and recover on a tiered support level basis; IVAs will provide longer term enhanced support for victims with the most need and Community Volunteers may provide shorter term, less intense support for those victims with lower level needs.
- Practical advice on home/property/personal security
- Advice and support in respect of the Criminal Justice System, explaining procedures, roles and rights
- Risk and need assessments; drawing up Cope and Recovery plans, in conjunction with victims and key parties to ensure that individual support needs are met and appropriate action is taken.
- Safety plans liaising closely with other agencies such as; Housing, DWP, Health, Social Services, Solicitors, Police, Courts taking into account any safeguarding and child protection concerns and reporting to appropriate agencies etc.
- A victim’s advocate to help to keep them updated regarding case progress where appropriate in partnership with key partners.
- Support through any legal processes
- Take and support Victim Personal Statements (VPS) to describe to the Court the personal impacts of the crime.
- Where deemed potentially beneficial, refer victims to counselling or Restorative Justice services for suitability assessment
- Support the victim to apply for financial compensation where appropriate
- Counselling/Talking Therapy Service: counselling services are funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner to offer 10 x 1 hour sessions per victim/client free of charge with additional free sessions available for those who require more intense support.
- Restorative Justice Service: focuses on enabling victims to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact the crime has had on them, also known as restorative practice. Restorative practice can be used anywhere to prevent conflict, build relationships and repair harm by enabling people to communicate effectively and positively. This may be directly or indirectly with an offender.
- Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service: For victims of Domestic & Sexual Abuse: Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) is delivering a significantly enhanced Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service across North Yorkshire. This service provides single point of contact emotional and practical support to victims of domestic and sexual abuse from the point of crime throughout the criminal justice process and beyond to enable victims to cope and recover.
Things that an IVA or Community Volunteer may provide for a victim in differing levels of intensity are;
As part of the Supporting Victims Service the Commissioner has also developed a bespoke website, designed to meet the needs of North Yorkshire victims of crime. The website can inform victims how to access support services in North Yorkshire via the Supporting Victims team as well as providing victims who want to support themselves with practical information, advice and guidance and includes information dedicated to trafficking and modern slavery: http://www.supportingvictims.org/types-of-crime/slavery-and-trafficking/.
In terms of North Yorkshire Police (NYP), since the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and the subsequent publication of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioners Strategic Plan in October 2015, NYP have been actively looking at the importance that we place on crimes relating to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. Specialist Force members are currently working on developing the Force’s organisational knowledge and awareness of this issue through greater communication of information, and training. NYP’s Organised Crime Unit absorbs any costs in relation to Modern Slavery within their normal departmental budget; therefore there is currently no specific budget for this area within the Force.
However, awareness campaigns to NYP Officers and Staff have begun, and a draft ‘toolkit’ is in existence to assist them with powers, policies and disruption tactics. As a result, greater numbers of intelligence feeds have been received and also as a consequence there have been an increase in National Referral Mechanism submissions.
It is acknowledged that more needs to be done, not only by North Yorkshire Police but also partner agencies who can assist in providing a richer intelligence picture by sharing information consistently. The first multi-agency meeting was recently convened – this consisted of County partnerships such as the Community Safety Partnership, Children’s Social Care and Adults Social Care, but it was agreed that York colleagues should also be invited to attend. North Yorkshire Police also attend the regional Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery ‘Threat Reduction Group’ so as to understand the regional picture where best practice is shared. This group also has members from partner agencies such as The National Crime Agency, Border Agencies, Gang Masters Licensing etc.
There is no information held by the OPCC to answer this part of your request.
The Police and Crime Plan (PCP) covers 2013-2016 – details of the plan, and the answers to your questions, can be found under the following link: https://www.northyorkshire-pfcc.gov.uk/police-crime-plan/
There is currently no information held within the OPCC to answer this part of your request.
In addition, the OPCC can neither confirm nor deny that it holds any other information with regard to an exempt body as the duty in Section 1(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 does not apply by virtue of the following exemption:
Section 23(5) Information Supplied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies
Section 23 is a class based absolute exemption and there is no requirement to consider the public interest in this case.
Confirming or denying the existence of whether any other information is held would contravene the constrictions laid out within Section 23 of the Freedom of information Act 2000 in that this stipulates a generic bar on disclosure of any information applied by, or concerning, certain Security Bodies.