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Human Trafficking

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Solicitor-General what guidelines his Department has issued to the Crown Prosecution Service on treatment of the victims of human trafficking. (93593)

As part of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) response to Operation Pentameter, updated guidance has been issued to specialist crown prosecutors in each CPS Area. This guidance focuses on trafficking for sexual exploitation and has been informed in part by the experiences of those who have handled trafficking cases and supported trafficked victims. It has also been taken from best practice gleaned from research from other jurisdictions.

The guidance emphasises the importance of adhering to the standards set out in the CPS Public Policy Statement on the Delivery of Service to Victims, which places the needs of victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. This emphasises the importance of obtaining the best evidence from the victim. To do this crown prosecutors have been advised to view the case from a victim's perspective, and not purely from a lawyer's perspective.

Further specific guidance for trafficking cases “Dealing with the Victim” has been issued to assist crown prosecutors in understanding the varied and complex needs of trafficked victims and the support required. This guidance has been developed for the police by CENTREX (the Police Training Organisation) in partnership with REFLEX (the Government's multi-agency response to organised immigration crime).