Hope for Justice and West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner launch West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network

About the first Network Meeting

On Tuesday 25 November 2014 the first ever meeting will be held of the West Yorkshire Anti Trafficking Network.

The meeting has been organised by Hope for Justice with assistance from the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire to improve the coordination of the fight against human trafficking in the region.

Hope for Justice Director of Programmes, Allan Doherty will chair the first meeting and will make a short presentation regarding the current state of human trafficking within West Yorkshire, after which the group will be invited to elect a chair person and discuss appropriate objectives and governance issues.

Why the Network is needed

Human trafficking is perhaps one of the hardest crimes to recognise and to deal with. Many frontline professionals, as well as the public, struggle to understand what the crime is and to identify victims.  Victims themselves can sometimes not realise they are being tricked and exploited and can be controlled by manipulative traffickers who see them as nothing more than modern day slaves.

The West Yorkshire Anti Trafficking Network will work to bring together the many different organisations who may come into contact with victims of human trafficking. It will help raise awareness of the crime, modern day slavery as it is often known, and help to develop and share good practise in preventing it and helping those who become victims.

Examples of organisations that failed to work collaboratively and missed opportunities to identify victims of trafficking have recently attracted national media attention. The inquiries into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and Rochdale recently reinforced the need for organisations to work together. Organisations need to share information and knowledge and need to work in partnership to ensure that victims are identified and given the best possible help in dealing with the aftermath of this crime.

About Hope for Justice

In 2013, 230 potential victims of human trafficking were recorded by the National Crime Agency in the North East police region which includes West Yorkshire. Hope for Justice identified 21.7% of those victims through Emma’s Hub, the charity’s first Regional Investigative Hub. The hub is a local office that deploys a team of specialist investigators with significant policing experience to identify victims, remove them from situations of exploitation and work with the police to identify perpetrators.

Funding for the Network

£200,000 was awarded to the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns Williamson.

Mr Burns Williamson joined forces with Hope for Justice to create and lead a West Yorkshire Anti-Trafficking Network (WYATN) after the Ministry for Justice approved the bid.

The funding will also pay for Hope for Justice to raise awareness of human trafficking including training for those working with victims.