What You Can Do – talking to your PCC Candidates about Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
We would encourage you to write to all the PCC candidates in your police force area before the election.
When you write you could mention some of the following points:
- Express your concern about the reality of human trafficking, its connection to prostitution and the suffering involved, including any references local stories from your area that illustrate this, see for example West Yorkshire, South Wales, Essex, Birmingham
- Highlight the extensive anti-trafficking legislation and the legislation that prohibits purchasing sex from someone who is coerced.
- Express your concern that the enforcement of these measures has not always been given sufficient priority by your local police force in the past
- Ask that the candidate would commit to prioritising the enforcement of the law in this area, especially Section 14 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 which makes paying for sex with someone who is coerced an offence
- Ask that the candidate would commit to prioritising the investigation of modern day slavery and utilising the new powers under the Modern Slavery Act. Ask the PCC to commit to making tackling modern day slavery and exploitation in prostitution key priorities in their strategic plan.
- Ask the candidate to commit to increasing the proportion of the budget given to tackling human trafficking to ensure more effective investigation, awareness with the police force and enforcement of the law in this area.
- Make the candidate aware of the new national modern slavery network for PCCs that the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC) has established. Ask the candidate to commit to playing a full and active part in that network and to support the work of the IASC in strengthening police understanding and activity against this crime.
- Encourage the candidate to make contact with local organisations providing support and care to victims of trafficking and people exiting prostitution.
Before you write you might consider reading the Strategic Plan and any reports produced by your current PCC. This will give you an idea of the priority areas of crime and policing that were the focus of the past three years.
You could also ask to meet with the candidate, either by yourself or with a group from your church.
If you live in London, the Mayor has oversight of policing. We recognise that the responsibilities of the Mayor are far wider that this, but would still encourage you to consider writing to the Mayoral candidates asking them to address these important issues.