A NEW approach to tackle modern slavery is being launched by seven Police and Crime Commissioners, including in West Yorkshire.

Mark Burns-Williamson has worked with other PCCs from Yorkshire and the North East to develop the Modern Slavery Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) Statement.

It will launch on Sunday - UK Anti-Slavery Day - to tackle modern slavery in our area.

Mr Burns-Williamson is the national APPC lead for modern slavery and human trafficking and as led the process over a number of months.

He said: “We know exploitation through business activities and supply chains remains an ongoing problem that can often be hidden from plain sight.

“As public bodies charged with addressing and detecting these despicable crimes within our communities, it is absolutely right and critical that we all lead by example.

"Only by scratching the surface, asking questions and proactively exploring the avenues of our business, can we properly address the issue of malpractice or exploitation within supply chains.”

“Not only will this set the benchmark for other public sector organisations, but it will send out a clear message to those in the commercial and private sector.”

Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Gaffney, who leads West Yorkshire Police’s Modern Slavery Team, added: “Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime in which victims are treated as commodities. It has no place in modern society.

"Through Programme Precision, a collaborative response with West Yorkshire Police working with key partners and communities tackling serious and organised crime, we are doing all we can to safeguard victims and bring offenders to justice which includes our work with public, private and third sector through the West Yorkshire Anti-Slavery Network.

“This agreement is a real statement of intent – such abuses may ‘hide in plain sight’ but we are ensuring our own supply chains don’t exploit people in this way and at the same time sending a clear message to other businesses to make sure they are not contributing, even unwittingly, to a someone being a victim.”

To report a suspicion or for advice, visit modernslaveryhelpline.org or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121700.