Our Victim Navigator Programme sees specialist workers deployed in the heart of police forces in the UK to fight slavery. They are deployed with border teams and serious organised crime units – our Navigators are given unparalleled access to cases, with the highest security clearance, to provide specialist knowledge from the very start of investigations and provide support to victims.
“To a police investigation, a Victim Navigator is a vital role. It makes you have more time to do a better investigation so that that victim gets justice at the end of it. The Victim Navigators have definitely helped people engage more with police; it’s priceless really.” – Detective Constable Hollie Hampson, Essex Police
The scale of the issue
The true scale and cost of the crime is unclear, but based on a new police data analysis tool we believe there could be at least 100,000 victims in the UK, with the actual number likely to be even greater. For victims who are rescued, immediate and longer-term support is poor, leading to police losing vital intelligence and evidence when victims disengage or are re-trafficked. Engagement with victims needs to be transformed to dismantle criminal networks and bring more traffickers to justice.
Following extensive discussions with national police leaders, forces and leading national stakeholders, Justice and Care launched the Victim Navigator Programme in July 2018. We currently have Navigators deployed in the heart of Surrey, Essex and Greater Manchester Police Forces, as well as the Met and Border Force UK.
Our solution – Navigator Programme provides:
- Specialist care and support: including rescues, access to counselling, legal advice, medical treatment and coordinating International repatriations
- Tactical advice into investigations: including shaping investigations, reopening filed cases by connecting new evidence, advising on strategy and joining the dots across forces
- Advocacy: acting as a trusted bridge between police and victim to increase victim engagement and drive higher conviction rates
- Systemic change: including training for key policing leaders and agencies, lesson sharing to shape national strategy with partners such as the National Crime Agency and Home Office
“Justice and Care’s Victim Navigator programme is helping to shape the national police response to modern slavery. It is a unique attempt to create partnership between senior police investigators and a specialist NGO, joining forces to fight against this appalling crime.” – Jenny Bristow, Detective Chief Inspector – Modern Slavery Police Transformation Unit
Impact to Date (Updated 13 October 2020)
- 1,244 potential modern slavery cases analysed
- 83 victims cared for with full support plans
- Identifying and nurturing a local network of specialist organisations and support agencies who can offer support with particular victim needs – including various charities, local authorities, Rape Crisis, Safeguarding Boards, NHS staff members, Asylum Support services and more.
- 71% of victims supported reporting improved mental and emotional wellbeing and recovery
- 45 suspected exploited arrested in cases supported by VNs
- 1,452 frontline professionals trained in best practice in victim identification and care – with 97% of those trained reporting significantly improved knowledge after the session.
- Pioneering a new partnership with Border Force UK, helping to identify and intercept victims of trafficking at the Port of Dover in Kent and across major airports across Scotland
Future plans for Navigator Programme
A significant and strategic expansion of the Victim Navigator Programme is needed to transform policing in the UK, save more lives and increase national modern slavery convictions. We are in conversations with the Home Office and our vision is for government to roll out the Navigator Programme to every UK police force, to transform the national response to modern slavery and see an end to this appalling crime.