Exploitation: Children and Young People

Attorney General written question – answered on 4th October 2019.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Treasury)

To ask the Attorney General, what support he is providing to the Crown Prosecution Service to ensure that Modern Slavery Act 2015 provisions and associated guidance relating to the avoidance of unnecessary prosecution of children and young people who have been groomed, exploited or trafficked as part of county lines criminal activity is followed in full.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Solicitor-General

The Law Officers superintend the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS is the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales with responsibility for charging decisions in criminal cases.

The CPS has published clear legal guidance which recognises the principle of non-prosecution of victims of trafficking or slavery. It has delivered training on the steps to be taken, where there is a reason to believe that a suspect or defendant in a criminal case might be a victim. In those circumstances, the prosecutor will consider what further evidence or information might be required and will review whether the prosecution should proceed or not. The guidance sets out that where there is sufficient evidence that the accused is a victim and the conditions provided for in section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 are met, the case should not be charged or proceeded with.

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