Anti-Slavery Day: UK government launches £8.5 million fund to tackle modern slavery

A slavery protest is seen in New York in September 2013. The UK government has now announced fresh funding to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking (Getty)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Police are to receive an £8.5 million cash injection to bolster the fight against modern slavery.

The announcement was made on Anti-Slavery Day, a day established by the UK government to raise awareness of the perils of slavery and human trafficking. It also comes after concerns were raised about efforts to tackle the crime.

Last week, the UK's anti-slavery commissioner warned that victims were being failed by "substandard" crime recording which risks allowing perpetrators to offend with impunity.

Kevin Hyland criticised "chronic weaknesses" as he demanded that law enforcement agencies step up their response to the issue.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd described modern slavery as a "barbaric crime". She said the Government has taken "world-leading action" to tackle it but added: "We must do even more".

She said: "That is why I am announcing significant investment that will help our law enforcement agencies bring the perpetrators of this intolerable crime to justice. Our message to slave-drivers and traffickers is clear: we are coming to get you and you have nowhere to hide."

The funding aims to improve the response by providing high-quality intelligence and analysis to assess the threat at a national and regional level, and an improved operational response throughout the investigative process.

More than 50 additional analysts, specialists and investigators will assist forces in England and Wales as part of the drive.