The Editor's Blog

3 - Stolen Freedom - The Report of HMICFRS into the Investigation of Modern Slavery

The Stolen Freedom report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) has been widely reported by the media, and so I thought I would take a more in depth look at what has been recommended.  Their inspection was conducted between January and April 2017


The report found that in non-specialist officers and staff displayed only a limited understanding of the new powers and provisions set out in the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and in particular:

This suggests, the report concludes, that many victims are not being identified, or given the full safeguards and protection that they should receive..


Issues included:

The HMICFRS concluded that:

Local Activity

Some Forces had patchy partnership arrangements, but some had none.

HMICFRS found that:

They concluded that:

Victim Identification and Safeguarding

HMICFRS found that:

The feeling amongst many neighbourhood officers was that they did not feel comfortable about raising the issues of modern slavery and human trafficking with local communities because they did not believe the public were either interested in or sympathetic to victims, potentially considerably limiting the amount of intelligence that can be gleaned from local engagement,

Some operational officers maintained that modern slavery and human trafficking was not an issue in their areas.

HMICFRS concluded that:

Crime Recording

HMICFRS found that:


HMICFRS found that:


The Police Transformation Programme seeks to address many of these failings, but HMICFRS are concerned that this program is only financed until March 2019.

They concluded that: