Sue Swidrak and Andy Clouth from Hope for Justice with Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger yesterday (21 May 2015) hosted the first of a series of training sessions on Responding to Human Trafficking.
The training was delivered by Hope for Justice, a charity working to end human trafficking and slavery in our generation. It was aimed at frontline professionals to improve their understanding of and response to such a challenging crime.
The sessions were arranged following a successful regional awareness event held in Cleveland back in September 2014 where the need for the training of frontline professionals was identified.
Over 60 delegates were in attendance from a wide range of agencies including Cleveland Police, Local Councils including Trading Standards and Social Care, Housing Associations and the Romanian Assembly.
Real life case studies and video clips were shared detailing the extent which traffickers go to in order to control and deceive victims. Further training sessions are scheduled over the coming months.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Barry Coppinger, said: “Following our successful event in 2014 to raise awareness of human trafficking, the need for frontline professionals to be aware of the signs and indicators to look out for is of utmost importance in order for victims to be safe and protected.
“Human trafficking forms part of the regional Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which I remain committed to throughout my term of office.
“I will continue to raise awareness, and provide training for relevant professionals to ensure those that are potentially coming into contact with victims are equipped to handle the situation appropriately and effectively”.
Hope for Justice CEO Ben Cooley added, “It’s an unfortunate reality that victims of human trafficking are suffering in isolation in the North East, just as they are in the rest of the UK. Working alongside the Commissioner, Cleveland Police and local agencies our training programmes are the first step to seeing those victims identified and freed.”
Posted on Friday 22nd May 2015