West Yorkshire Police play key role in Polish group being jailed for total of 25 years
The West Yorkshire Police force has played a key role in an investigation that saw a Polish group jailed for total of 25 years
Last week six people (four males and two females) were sentenced in Poland to a combined total of more than 25 years in prison for their participation in an organised crime group and human trafficking. They were sentenced to between six years and three years and one month.
Although the case was prosecuted in Poland, West Yorkshire Police’s Modern Slavery Team were heavily involved in the investigation with the support of the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the UK teams at Eurojust and Europol.
There was close co-operation between the District Prosecutor’s Office in Wroclaw, the Provincial Office of Police in Wroclaw (Prokuratura Okręgowa we Wrocławiu and Komenda Wojewódzka Policji we Wrocławiu) West Yorkshire Police, the NCA and the UK teams at Eurojust and Europol.
Andy French from the National Crime Agency said: “This investigation was the result of fantastic international collaboration between the UK and the Polish Police Human trafficking department and highlights how serious and organised crime knows no boundaries.
“Working with our partners across law enforcement here and abroad, we are determined to do all we can to fight modern day slavery and tackle the criminal groups involved."
Detectives at West Yorkshire Police is now urging people to know the basic signs of modern slavery and human trafficking.
Detective Chief Inspector Fiona Gaffney who leads West Yorkshire Police’s response to the Organised Exploitation of Vulnerable People, said: “Modern slavery and human trafficking are awful crimes that have no place in the modern world.
“They are crimes that trade in human misery but knowledge is power and by knowing just a few of the potential signs to look out for people can be our eyes and ears and by reporting any suspicions to us someone might just might make a massive difference to the life of a victim.
“Victims of modern slavery can be found anywhere. There are certain industries where they are currently more prevalent, such as nail bars, car washes, agriculture and fishing, building sites and the sex industry.
“Other high risk situations include when there is a need for a sudden injection of workers into the work force, such as seasonal staff or construction for a major event. Victims, however, may also pass through transport hubs, health services and other public places or be found in private homes.
“Because of the often hidden nature of these offences an increase in reports is in many ways a positive – we know that a lot go unreported.
“Through Programme Precision as a Force we are doing a lot of work to rescue victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”