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Bexley professionals show their commitment to tackling modern slavery

PUBLISHED: 16:31 07 March 2018

The conference took place last Thursday. Picture: Bexley council

The conference took place last Thursday. Picture: Bexley council

Archant

Bexley charities held a conference last week, exploring the myths of modern slavery in an effort to raise awareness of responsibility.

The conference infromed Bexley professionals about modern slavery. Picture: Bexley councilThe conference infromed Bexley professionals about modern slavery. Picture: Bexley council

The Bexley Safeguarding Adults Board (BSAB) and Bexley Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) organised the event on March 1, where they advised others on ways of preventing the issue.

More than 90 professionals braved blizzards to attend the meeting at the Marriott Hotel, Bexleyheath.

The BSAB, established by the Care Act 2014, is made up of senior people from organisations that have a role in protecting adults in need of care and support who are at risk of abuse and neglect.

The BSCB works to safeguard and protect children in the area who are in need of help.

The conference advised about responsibility. Picture: Bexley councilThe conference advised about responsibility. Picture: Bexley council

The conference was well attended by individuals and groups who have direct contact with both the victims and the criminals involved in modern slavery.

Police, teachers, doctors, church groups, community organisations, together with NHS and council staff got the chance to share experiences, consider their own role in identifying and assisting victims, and how they might be able to contribute towards tackling the issue.

BSAB independent chair, Annie Callanan, said: “Modern slavery is alarmingly alive and well, not just in Bexley, but across the country.

“Considering the weather conditions, it was overwhelming to see just how many professionals see modern slavery as an important issue and made the effort to turn up and share their experiences and how to recognise the signs.”

Speakers included, among others, Det Ch Insp Phil Brewer from the Metropolitan Police Organised Crime Command, Tamara Barnett from the Modern Slavery & Kidnap Unit, London and EU project leader from the Human Trafficking Foundation, Rhiannon Sawyer, James Simmonds-Read from the Children’s Society and Dr Sundari Anitha, reader for Lincoln University and research lead on Forced Marriage and Abandonment.

BSCB independent chair. Jane Shuttleworth, said: “I’m confident the people who have attended today now feel that they’re armed with the necessary information and contacts to help tackle this issue, support victims and work together to bring an end to modern slavery.”

For more information about either board, visit www.safeguardingadultsinbexley.com and www.bexleylscb.org.uk.

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