CJI Inspection of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

15/10/2020

CJI Chief Inspector Jacqui Durkin as published the first CJI inspection of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

The report examined the work carried out by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Prosecution Service of Northern Ireland (PPS) to the investigate and prosecute cases of modern slavery and human trafficking, and how both organisations engaged with victims.  It also looked at how the Department of Justice (DoJ) supported the implementation of legislation and worked with other Government Departments to tackle this issue. 

“Modern slavery and human trafficking are harmful crimes that exploit men, women and children who are already vulnerable.  It may seem like something that doesn’t happen in our community, but it does and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are among the most vulnerable and traumatised in the criminal justice system,” said Ms Durkin.
 
“This report showed excellent working relationships existed between specialist police officers working in the PSNI’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit and specialist prosecutors in the PPS.  A well-established legislative and governance framework was in place across the UK with good links formed between the PSNI and the National Crime Agency.
 
“We’ve made a total of 11 recommendations in this report to support further improvement.  Inspectors have called for further work to be undertaken to enable the police to better understand the nature and scale of modern slavery and human trafficking and support the replication of the full range of enforcement powers available elsewhere in the UK, here in Northern Ireland.  I am encouraged that the Minister of Justice has already indicated her intention to take action and consult on next years’ Modern Slavery Strategy.
 
“This inspection report focuses on what criminal justice organisations were doing to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in Northern Ireland, but individually and as a community, we all have a part to play.
 
“Sunday18 October is UK Anti-Slavery Day across the UK.  A day to raise awareness within Government, businesses and the community about modern slavery and human trafficking.  It’s vitally important we all know what modern slavery and human trafficking can look like and what to do about it when we see it,” concluded the Chief Inspector.