tackling homelessness & poverty in the Humber region

Humber Modern Slavery Partnership Coordinator appointed

Andrew Smith HMSP Coordinator.

A partnership approach to tackling modern slavery has secured the appointment of a new Coordinator post for the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership (HMSP).

The post is held at theUniversity of Hull’s Wilberforce Institute and funded by the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Humberside. Commissioner Keith Hunter agreed to fund the post for a three year initial period in recognition of the importance of tackling modern slavery and human trafficking in the Humber area.

Andrew Smith, former volunteer Chair of the HMSP and founder of Hull’s Homeless Community Project, will take up the role next week. As Coordinator, Andrew will work to improve awareness of modern slavery across all four local authority areas (Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire) and facilitate national initiatives and awareness campaigns. Andrew will act as a single point of contact on modern slavery and human trafficking and as part of the role will help to reduce vulnerabilities to modern slavery and identify barriers to victim identification and support, participating in feedback on national policy to influence decision making and using a national evidence base to inform practice in our local area.

The Humber Modern Slavery Partnership is a strategic partnership of front line organisations across Humberside dedicated to tackling all forms of modern slavery and human trafficking, by prosecuting perpetrators, disrupting identified organised crime and supporting victims in or out of the National Referral Mechanism (NRM). The Partnership comprises over 60 agencies that have joined together to tackle slavery and trafficking, supporting victims and survivors. Since the establishment of the HMSP our region has witnessed a vast increase in intelligence reports relating to modern slavery and human trafficking.

PCC Keith Hunter said: “Modern Slavery is very real and it is happening right now in our communities. It is important that we raise awareness of this vile trade in vulnerable people and learn to spot the signs that may indicate someone is being held in servitude. I am delighted to be able to fund this new post to work with all agencies involved in identifying and tackling modernslavery.”

Andrew Smith said: “Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking present an ever-evolving threat to the safety and security of our region and the UK as a whole. This serious and organised crime affects us all, exploiting adults and young people as a commodity for financial and criminal gain. Across the Humber region, partners, friends and colleagues are committed to tackling Modern Slavery in all its forms, disrupting serious organised crime and fully supporting victims to achieve meaningful recovery.

“I feel honoured to start this new role as Coordinator of HMSP, together with statutory, third sector, emergency and criminal justice organisations we will work hard to improve prevention and victim care in Humberside.

“As the threat of Modern Slavery grows, so must our response and effectiveness. Serious and organised crime gangs and exploiters are well organised and resourced in avoiding justice. This commitment from the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Wilberforce Institute means we can truly make our area a hostile environment for those who seek to profit from human suffering.”

Dr Alicia Kidd is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Wilberforce Institute and is also Vice Chair ofthe Humber Modern Slavery Partnership. She commented that “The implementation of this roleis a big step forward in demonstrating that there is a real commitment and drive from practitioners in our region to tackle this crime and to support victims. While we have seen great progress since the inception of the HMSP, it will make a real difference having someone dedicated to its improvement and development.”

The Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation is an inter-disciplinary research institute dedicated to the study of slavery in all its forms, historical and contemporary. It provides a forum for academic discourse and interaction and actively works with partners in advancing public understanding of slavery, thereby informing political and social change. In 2015the Wilberforce Institute was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which recognises work that is considered of ‘outstanding excellence’.

  •   To report anything suspicious or for advice on tackling modern slavery and human trafficking please call the Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700
  •   For more information about the Humber Modern Slavery Partnership visit: www.humberantislave.com

[David Hudson – Humberside Police]

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