The Commissioner, together with police and partners has been working together to tackle this important issue and wants to raise awareness of the scale of the problem that affects areas across the UK, including the north east.
Tackling modern day slavery and human trafficking is a high priority for the force and forms part of Dame Vera’s Policing Plan. Through regional networks officers are working closely with colleagues from the National Crime Agency and the Immigration Service to share intelligence and act on it.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Dame Vera Baird QC said: “I am pleased to see great moves forward in Northumbria’s response and understanding of modern day slavery through targeted operations like this year’s Operation Kestrel, which saw significant successes.
“Through this work, we have been able to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, supporting them through such facilities as Newcastle’s Victim Reception Centre.
“However, there is still a great deal of work to be done, particularly in raising awareness. It’s important people realise that these offences can happen on our doorstep, right here in the North East, and we need to ensure people caught up in these terrible situations have access to the help and safety they need.”
Anyone with concerns about crime and human trafficking where they live should contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.