Belfast Telegraph

PSNI receive 31 trafficking and modern slavery cases

By Hayden Smith

More than 30 cases of modern slavery or human trafficking were referred to police in Northern Ireland last year.

In total 5,145 potential victims were submitted to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in 2017, up 35% on the previous year, a new report has shown.

Of these, 819 were UK citizens - more than double the 326 referred in 2016, according to National Crime Agency figures. The majority - 4,714 - of all referrals were passed to English police forces for crime recording purposes, with 31 referred here.

The NRM is a framework for identifying victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, such as those subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labour.

Possible cases are referred by first response agencies to specialist units in the NCA or Home Office. Not all individuals who are referred are ultimately assessed to be modern slavery victims.

NCA director Will Kerr said the figures "almost certainly" represent an underestimate of the true scale of the problem.

Belfast Telegraph

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