Bedford man charged after breaching slavery and trafficking risk order

Luton Crown Court
Luton Crown Court

A man has been charged with breaching a civil order imposed by police to prevent human trafficking.

The man in his 30s from Bedford was charged with breaching his interim slavery and trafficking risk order (STRO), which was imposed on him by Bedfordshire Police in August.

This is believed to be only the second time a UK police force has secured a charge for a breach of such an order.

The man had attempted to board an international flight without notifying police, which broke one of the conditions in the order.

STROs are part of the Modern Slavery Act and can be applied if the court is satisfied that there is a risk the defendant will commit a slavery or human trafficking offence.

The man appeared at Luton Magistrates Court on Monday, where it was determined he would face no further action in relation to the breach.

Detective Sergeant Simon Oldfield said: “These risk orders are effective powers in our arsenal to disrupt those suspected of being involved in organised crime.

“They give law enforcement more teeth in terms of preventing human trafficking from taking place, while we investigate a potential criminal case in greater detail.

“The fact we have secured charges in this case shows how serious we and the Crown Prosecution Service are around enforcing these orders and ensuring their conditions are strictly enforced.”

Last year in Bedfordshire 262 referrals were made to the national referral mechanism for potential victims of modern slavery – the fifth highest of all UK police force areas.

Anyone with any information about suspected modern slavery can report it to Bedfordshire Police via 101, or contact them through the online reporting centre on the police website.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700.

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