Modern Slavery Statement

Joint Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2021

1. Introduction

Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office (SCO), Staffordshire Police (SP) and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of Modern Slavery. We are committed to eliminating discrimination and exploitation in all business dealings or our supply chain, acting with transparency, putting effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against all forms of Modern Slavery.

SCO, SFRS and SP consider the obligations placed on commercial organisations under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 are vital in combating Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.

This statement sets out our current practices to tackle and prevent Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking within SCO, SFRS, SP commissioned services, investments, or its supply chain, including the duty to identify and report such instances to the relevant bodies.

Modern Slavery is used as umbrella terms to refer to the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It covers a wide range of abuse and exploitation including, slavery, human trafficking, servitude, and forced or compulsory labour. Victims of Modern Slavery can be of any age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity. They are tricked or threatened into work and may feel unable to leave or report the crime through fear or intimidation. They also may not recognise themselves as a victim. Victims may also be subject to more than one type of exploitation at the same time.

It is estimated 40 million people are trapped in Modern Slavery worldwide, over 10,000 were identified as potential victims by the authorities in the UK in 2019.

2. About the Organisations

SCO employees support The Police Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) in the delivery of their Safer, Fairer, United Communities for Staffordshire Plan. The role of a PFCC is to be the voice of the people and to hold the police to account, ensure the delivery of an effective and efficient fire and rescue and police service, which meets the needs of their community, strengthening relationships, and building trust between the community and the police service.

SP provides policing services across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. SP’s purpose is keeping our communities safe and reassured through preventing crime, protecting the public, and bringing offenders to justice. The policing area covers more than 1,000 square miles and currently has around 3,500 employees, comprising around 1,750 Officers together with community support officers, police staff and volunteers who serve a population of just under 1.1 million. The force has the largest total road length of any authority area of the West Midlands; one of the largest in the country. It deals with just over 1,400 calls for service every 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has 33 Community Fire Stations across the county; made up of three main areas: the Northern Service Delivery Group which covers Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire Moorlands and Newcastle-under-Lyme; the Eastern Service Delivery Group covering Tamworth, Lichfield and East Staffordshire; and the Western Service Delivery Group covering Stafford, South Staffordshire and Cannock. SFRS also deliver a broad range of community safety initiatives, older persons and youth engagement and road safety education alongside business support, fire protection and enforcement activities.

SCO, SFRS and SP work in the United Kingdom, where the risk of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking is considered low, however, all employees remain vigilant and will take steps available to manage any risks presented.

This statement covers the business activities of SCO, SFRS and SP, including all direct employees, agency workers, volunteers, supply chains, and services commissioned.

3. Policies and Procedures

SCO has several internal policies and procedures shared with SP and SFRS to ensure an ethical and transparent nature when conducting business. All three organisations have governance oversight of their policies and procedures. These are reviewed regularly and updated when necessary. The main corporate policies and procedures, which incorporate the identification and approach to Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, are:

  • Recruitment and Promotions
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Whistleblowing Policy
  • Employees Code of Conduct
  • Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy
  • Adult Safeguarding Enquiry Procedures

4. Employee Training

All force employees undergo mandatory College Learn training.

Force Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Champions undergo a three-day training course.

Staffordshire Police deliver Modern Slavery Human Trafficking training and information to fire & rescue employees which help raise awareness, reinforce partnership links, assist in the identification, reporting and management of MSHT multi-agency operations.

SCO and SP employees can access a Vulnerability Toolkit from police mobile devices and desktops as well as the Pocket Guide so that they can refer to the guidance on the go. This toolkit offers up-to-date, easy to navigate, information about several vulnerability areas including Modern Slavery. The Modern Slavery toolkit includes; useful tools, both internal and external policies and protocols, signposting and resources, videos, SPOC list and relevant news.

The government has also produced a modern slavery collection available to public sector organisations, which brings together documents, training resources and promotional material related to the government’s work to end Modern Slavery.

5. Delivery

SCO, SFRS and SP are able to monitor and manage the supply chains of direct suppliers of services.

As part of the procurement processes, SCO, SFRS and SP will:

  • Ensure pre-contract questionnaires given to potential contractors include questions to help ensure that those organisations are fulfilling their statutory responsibilities to identify, prevent and mitigate the risk of modern slavery in their operations.
  • Have a risk assessment in place for the supply chains to ensure the areas with a deemed risk of modern slavery are appropriately monitored.
  • Have anti-slavery clauses in the standard contract terms and conditions and tender documents, to ensure that the SCO, SFRS and SP are entering into contracts with suppliers who are committed to complying with requirements under the Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking laws, including the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
  • Make sure all suppliers of goods and services have their own policy relating to working practices or modern slavery, or for evidence to be available to ensure their standards are in accordance with the SCO, SFRS and SP’s expectations.

Working in partnership is essential to prevent instances of Modern Slavery, and to identify, protect and support its victims. SCO, SFRS and SP will work together consistently and cohesively to understand the nature of the threat. To do this effectively we must:

  • Listen and learn from our communities to identify gaps in delivery, areas of vulnerability, and emerging threats.
  • Ensure our communities are aware of the signs of modern slavery and human trafficking, and that pathways to report concerns are established and promoted.
  • Build on existing district and national meetings such as the modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) tactical group by building on developing stronger relationships, gather and share information to help identify vulnerabilities, emerging threats and to safeguard those at risk sooner.
  • We will continue to influence national strategies and policies through engagement with various organisations.

6. Action Plan

A working group spearheaded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and the Force Director of People and Resources has been formed with representatives from SCO, SFRS and SP covering areas such as procurement, MSHT, safeguarding and human resources. This group will measure and monitor progress and produce reports where necessary highlighting the progress of the action plan.

This statement demonstrates our commitment to ensure that both now and in the future that there is no Modern Slavery or Human Trafficking in our business dealings or supply chains.

The Statement shall be continually reviewed and updated annually.