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Modern slavery victims to be supported and heard in Norfolk

Victims of modern slavery and exploitation in Norfolk are to receive immediate specialist help and support thanks to a project funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk (OPCCN). 

The £125,000 grant will see the introduction of a Modern Slavery Advisor and will ensure partnership co-ordination, best practice advice and training is delivered across the county. 

The cash boost – which spans the next three financial years - will also ensure specialist one-to-one support for up to 100 victims to ensure they are supported, safe, heard and their rights are respected. 

The project supports the Police, Crime and Community Safety Plan launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie as well as the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership’s ‘Safer Norfolk Plan 2021-2024’. 

The service will be run by the charity St Giles Trust and will complement the work of The Salvation Army - the nationally appointed specialist support agency for all adult victims of modern slavery. The Salvation Army are responsible for meeting victims’ individual needs whether within a safehouse or through outreach support once they enter the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) process.  

The new Modern Slavery/Human Trafficking Support Grant will provide a service that will assist those adults who do not consent to enter the NRM and consider what statutory, non-statutory and charitable specialist services are appropriate and/or necessary to refer into to support and safeguard.   

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Giles Orpen-Smellie said: “Supporting victims and reducing vulnerability in Norfolk continues to be a key priority for me as Norfolk’s PCC. 

“It is crucial the right mechanisms are put in place from the very start to help victims of modern slavery and exploitation so they can get access to the best possible support from first point of contact. 

“Partnership working is ultimately the key to ensuring the men and women affected can see a way out of the impossible trap they can find themselves in.   

“I am delighted to announce our office will be working with St Giles Trust which has a proven track record, both locally and nationally, of helping make a difference to victims or potential victims of crime.” 

Clare Bradley, Head of Service for the East of England at St Giles Trust, said: “We are pleased to be working with our partners in Norfolk to help victims of modern slavery and human trafficking to safely exit their current situations and get the support they need.   

“St Giles Trust has an established track record of working with people in the community who are experiencing a range of vulnerabilities, empowering them to overcome barriers and rebuild their lives. We are looking forward to bringing our expertise to help victims of modern slavery. “ 

"The service will provide immediate independent support and initial response to those, aged 18 and over - men and women and those with protected characteristics - who have been subject to modern slavery and exploitation in Norfolk." 

Objectives also include:  

  • Coordinating and supporting partners, including communities to drive forward a response to prevent serious and organised crimes of modern slavery and human trafficking where people are exploited for other people’s personal gain. 

  • Supporting and enabling victims/survivors to communicate their experiences to criminal justice agencies engaged in enforcement activity and ensure they are supported, safe, heard and their rights are respected throughout this process.

  • Delivery of a minimum of three training and awareness sessions over a three-year period to raise awareness and support training for front line professionals. 

  • Supporting, specialist policing teams on operations and investigations by providing independent expert input and immediately engaging with victims from point of contact.

The Modern Slavery Adviser will work with St Giles Trust’s Head of Service for the East of England. 

They will attend relevant multi agency safeguarding and networking meetings, including the Norfolk Anti-Slavery Network, to provide specialist knowledge to partners.  

Their aim will be to maintain a local knowledge of support services to provided victims with onward referral to other agencies, including the Salvation Army NRM support.  

Access to services for victims of Modern Slavery could be for an array of complex needs including, confidential legal advice, healthcare, education opportunities, financial support, employment, and housing support. 

It is hoped the three-year project will encourage better identification of victims and increase the quality of victim support already available in the county. 

It is also hoped it will help support and co-ordinate victim engagement with the police leading to an increased likelihood of successful criminal justice outcomes. 

In March the OPCCN announced how foundations had been laid to provide a Norfolk-wide approach to helping victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. 

The two-year pilot project was co-ordinated by the British Red Cross and saw the development of the Norfolk Anti-Slavery Network (NASN), which worked alongside partners to ensure best practice and shared learning. 

Help and support  

If you have concerns that someone is being exploited, or suspect modern slavery, please call the national Modern Slavery 24 helpline on 08000 121 700

Modern day slavery and human trafficking are crimes in which people are exploited for other people’s personal gain.   

Modern slavery is a term used in the UK and elsewhere to describe forms of exploitation occurring in the present day, as opposed to historical forms of slavery. In the UK, human trafficking is considered a form of modern slavery.  

Modern Slavery captures a whole range of types of exploitation where children, young people and adults are treated as commodities and exploited for criminal gain.   

Human Trafficking is the movement of individuals with the aim of forced labour or exploitation.  

Visit our Criminal Exploitation web page >>