Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Essex Police will treat modern slavery victims as any other crime victim

Chief Constable of Essex Police, BJ Harrington

MODERN slavery victims will be treated the same as a victim of any other type of crime by Essex Police, the force’s chief has said reports the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

His statement comes after a question was put to Roger Hirst, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, asking if he would write to the Home Secretary asking for a review of the Government’s plans that those people who come to the UK illegally will not be able to claim asylum and or benefit from the country’s modern slavery protections.

However, BJ Harrington has said the force will treat victims of human trafficking as any other victims of crime.

He said: “If someone came forwards and they were a victim of crime whether that’s modern slavery or anything else then we would treat them as a victim of crime, however they came to be in the UK and now as we would treat them as being a victim of crime.”

“Being an illegal migrant makes you no less a victim than it does if you are a long term citizen of the UK.”

He added: “If you are victim of crime Essex Police will treat you as a victim of crime.”

The question was put to Mr Hirst by Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel member Councillor Aiden McGurran who asked if the commissioner will write to the Home Sec asking for the policy to be reviewed.

A Government statement tweeted by Rishi Runak on March 7 said: “If you come to the UK illegally you will be denied access to the UK’s modern slavery system.”

He said: “If you come to the UK illegally you can’t claim asylum, you can’t benefit from our modern slavery protections, you can’t make spurious human rights claims, you can’t stay.”

The UN Refugee Agency says the Government’s Asylum Bill, if passed, would amount to an asylum ban – extinguishing the right to seek refugee protection in the United Kingdom for those who arrive irregularly, no matter how genuine and compelling their claim may be, and with no consideration of their individual circumstances.

The Government says anyone illegally entering the UK will be prevented from accessing the UK’s modern slavery support or using these laws to block their removal. Any other challenges or human rights claims can also only be heard after removal, remotely.

It adds the bill will ensure the UK can better support people coming through “fair, safe and legal routes”.



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