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Using your voice and your vote

24th April 2024 | From our team

The Clewer Initiative

Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayoral candidates challenged to make modern slavery a priority. National Network Co-ordinators’ Forum (which brings together the coordinators of the various regional and UK-wide anti-slavery networks and partnerships including The Clewer Initiative) has written to all the potential Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayoral candidates to urge them to make tackling modern slavery a priority if elected. So far, 20 candidates have signed up to the pledge.

The general population will head to the polls on Thurs 2nd May to elect 10 metro mayors and 39 Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC). The metro mayors control upwards of £25bn of public spending and the PCCs make sure that the local police in their area are meeting the needs of the community.

Caroline Virgo, director of The Clewer Initiative, comments: “This is an important moment in the life of our country, particularly against a backdrop of a cost-of-living crisis and public sector spending cuts. Sadly, as the number of vulnerable people in our society increases, the investment in modern slavery prevention, first responders, modern slavery intelligence and survivor care is decreasing. There are many competing voices and modern slavery could easily be overlooked at a time when it needs more attention than ever.”

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A recent report on Human Trafficking from the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee highlighted that the introduction of the Nationality and Borders Act and the Illegal Migration Act has resulted in support for survivors of modern slavery diminishing. It noted that “the fight against human trafficking is, in practice, no longer a priority for the UK Government.” It then recommended that “all Police and Crime Commissioners should actively consider setting modern slavery and human trafficking as a priority in their police and crime plans.”

In the lead up to the election, we would urge you to write to local candidates and highlight the role they have in fighting modern slavery in this country. Remind them of the pledge that the NNCF has sent them. Encourage them to sign it. If you attend any hustings, please ask a question about prioritising modern slavery.

This next week provides us with an opportunity to challenge and inform our community leaders about modern slavery. Use your voice!

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