In the first nine months since a National Referral Mechanism for identifying and protecting trafficking victims was established in April 2009, 405 cases have been referred to specialist decision-makers in UKBA competent authorities, either directly or through the UK Human Trafficking Centre.
Each case is unique and a case owner will devote as much time as is needed to reach an informed decision, including by consulting with other relevant agencies such as the police, children's services and support providers. In some instances, competent authorities may also need to conduct or commission a further interview to gather more evidence. The timing will vary greatly depending on whether the initial 'reasonable grounds' decision is positive, how complex the case is, the ability of the potential victim to provide information and how prompt other parties are in responding to queries for more information or reports. But it would not be unusual for a competent authority to spend two to four days in total on a given case.