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Angling Trust's Building Bridges team to help police tackling modern slavery


Modern Slavery presentation at Worcester June 2019 x550px

Members of the Angling Trust's Building Bridges team with Jason Grove (centre), West Midlands Police Regional Modern Slavery Coordinator

Anglers have been asked to help police in the fight to tackle the rising crime of human trafficking and modern slavery.

It follows a meeting held in Worcester between the Angling Trust’s Fisheries Enforcement Support Service (FESS) and the Modern Slavery Police Transformation Programme.

The Voluntary Bailiff Service and the Building Bridges project – which works closely with migrant anglers from Central and Eastern European countries – are part of the FESS and ideal partners to help raise awareness of the crime among the angling community.

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

“This meeting provided a great opportunity to present to the FESS and specifically the Building Bridges team on the issues concerning modern slavery. By raising awareness of the modern slavery signs and profile of persons involved, both victims and offenders, it is now hoped that more reporting can be generated from the angling community as eyes and ears close to migrant communities. We look forward to working more closely together and tackling this serious organised criminality.”

Janusz Kansik, Building Bridges Project Manager, said:

“It is a fact that migrants are vulnerable to this crime. Our Building Bridges team is closely involved with various migrant communities and the migrant press throughout England and, therefore, provides a means of engaging with these communities which are often closed and insular. Because fishing is so deeply embedded in central and eastern European cultures, we are extensively involved with Polish, Lithuanian and Romanian communities in England and able to help the police raise awareness of modern slavery.”

Dilip Sarkar MBE, Angling Trust National Enforcement Manager, said:

“Modern slavery is a serious issue and we are delighted to help in any way we can. This is also another example of how fisheries enforcement is connected to a much bigger picture, the partnership working involved is virtually infinite and all helps put fisheries crime on the map whilst assisting our partners in the process.”

Earlier this year, the United Nations reported that human trafficking had “taken on horrific dimensions” and was increasing globally. Figures for the UK showed that 6,993 potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery were referred to UK authorities in 2018 – a 36% increase on the previous year – and included more than 3,100 children.

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

More information on Modern Slavery can be found here

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