Slavery: Prosecutions

Attorney General written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Jonathan Lord Jonathan Lord Conservative, Woking

To ask the Attorney General, what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of prosecutions for modern slavery.

Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis The Solicitor-General

The CPS has had considerable success in increasing prosecutions of modern slavery cases involving the exploitation of vulnerable people. The number of modern slavery prosecutions increased from 284 in 2017-18 to 322 in 2018-19, an increase of 13.4%.

These cases are handled by specialist units with prosecutors who have the training, expertise and experience to deal with this difficult casework.

The CPS prosecutes offenders following an investigation by law enforcement, and referral to the CPS for advice and prosecution. Early engagement between the prosecutors and investigators is therefore central to a successful prosecution in all these complex cases. Prosecutors work closely with law enforcement to build robust cases, and provide early investigative advice, with the aim of lessening or removing the need to rely solely upon the evidence of vulnerable victims.

The CPS works with international partners to disrupt modern slavery crimes, and to strengthen the prosecution response overseas. The CPS maintains an overseas network of Criminal Justice Advisors to improve mutual legal assistance and extradition co-operation and work with authorities in those countries to improve their local capability to counter serious crime affecting the UK.

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