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Angling Trust's Building Bridges project supports West Midlands Police in tackling modern slavery


Janusz Kansik with Jason Grove and migrant Police Officers x550

Janusz Kansik (2nd from right) with other delegates at the European Commuinities Seminar held in Birmingham

The Angling Trust’s Building Bridges Project Manager Janusz Kansik gave a keynote speech to police from across UK and Europe at a major event on modern slavery.

Organised by West Midlands Police, the European Community Seminar aimed to encourage joint working and a multi-agency approach to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking and was attended by over 100 delegates in Birmingham.

Janusz was able to highlight that via the common interest of fishing there are ways to interact with communities that are often hard to reach. With his multi-lingual staff understanding the different European cultures, they can form better relations and overcome the language barrier.

Other organisations attending the seminar included Barnardo's and the Polish Priest Community from Coventry who were very impressed with the project’s small but dedicated team working on educating and integrating migrant communities.

Modern slavery is often a hidden crime, but the impact can be devastating for the victims. It includes slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking. The police cannot tackle modern slavery alone and they rely on the involvement of other organisations, such as the Building Bridges project.

Jason Grove, West Midlands Police Regional Modern Slavery Coordinator said:

“Janusz delivered an excellent presentation on the roles of his agency and links to the wider community that the Building Bridges team are continually developing. His input complemented the agenda well, which had lots of inputs from police that related to linked criminality.

“Just as Building Bridges interacts through fishing, other delegates at the event said they are keen to see how they could use similar tactics to engage with their local communities via family sporting events or national independence community day. We look forward to working with Janusz and the wider Angling Trust and Fisheries Enforcement Support Service in future.”

Janusz Kansik said:

“Our Project Officers clearly understand how important their roles are. They are there to help the migrant and British communities integrate with each other. Our involvement in this seminar and partnership with the Policing Project on Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking is clear evidence of the high professional regard policing partners have for the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service approach, based upon PIER: Prevention, Intelligence, Enforcement and Reassurance.

“Building Bridges contributes to all of these outcomes and as a forward-thinking initiative again shows angling in a modern and positive light. We can help raise awareness of modern slavery in our day-to-day work, because statistically the migrant communities from eastern Europe are especially at risk. This is another important partnership which we are proud to be part of.”

The Building Bridges project is part of the Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service which is funded by fishing licence income through the Angling Trust’s National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Environment Agency.

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