Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It covers a wide range of abuse and exploitation including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting. The Home Office has described modern slavery as “a serious and brutal crime in which people are treated as commodities and exploited for criminal gain”.
Winner & Overall Winner: North Wales Police Central Area Priority Crime Team for Operation Blue Tylluan
For their roles in law enforcement and investigation, specifically in regards to a county lines exploitation of a young person. An evidence-led complex investigation was launched with collaborated with a range of partners including local authorities and probation. In October 2022, ten offenders were convicted, receiving sentences up to 10 years imprisonment. Seven convictions were secured for human trafficking, and six for conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine, despite the victim not being involved in the investigation. Three Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders, one Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order, and two restraining orders were also issued, ensuring for the safeguarding of the child and future potential victims.
The panel in awarding the overall winner award noted Operation Blue Tylluan for delivering best practice, safeguarding children and vulnerable people, identifying and protecting those being exploited and using tools, powers and laws to keep people in North Wales and across the border in England safe.