Modern Slavery Partnership launched
Simon Hayes, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire has launched the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership to bring together leaders from across the public, commercial and charity sectors in a combined effort to stop modern slavery.
He said: “It’s hard to believe that slavery exists in local communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight but sadly it does. Last year, 40 victims, including five children, were identified as potential victims of trafficking in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. It is highly likely that these victims are just a small percentage of the total number of people enslaved locally. Many more will be in need of help but are too afraid to seek support from statutory organisations, such as the police, for fear of reprisal by the criminals who held them captive or of being further victimised. Today, we are driving home the message that everyone can play a role in helping to Stop Modern Slavery.
“The Modern Slavery Partnership aims to bring together organisations that need to work together to fight slavery and support the victims of slavery in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. The Partnership will help a range of organisations share understanding and information on modern slavery, improve the multi-agency response to it, and ensure that victims are supported by being put squarely at the heart of the process.”
To support the Partnership, the website modernslaverypartnership.org.uk is also being launched alongside a social media campaign that will encourage the public and key partners in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to #stopmodernslavery by recognising the signs of potential victims and perpetrators of slavery in their local communities and businesses.