6. Priorities for the Chief Constable (3. To protect people from exploitation and abuse)
The exploitation or abuse of anyone in Kent is unacceptable which is why the vulnerable must be protected. Kent Police must work with local partners to identify exploitation and abuse wherever it is occurring, pursue and bring offenders to justice, take action to safeguard victims and facilitate the provision of appropriate support to help them cope and recover.
From May 2022 Kent Police introduced the following:
1) Proactive DA Teams – focused on those posing the greatest harm by targeting DA offenders, working with partners to identify the best ‘problem solving’ approach to manage them, referring suitable individuals to the perpetrator programme and providing support to victims.
Example: A DA offender, career criminal with links to gangs and drugs, assaulted his partner and damaged her vehicle. The Team gathered intelligence and arrested the suspect as he re-entered the UK. They recovered a large quantity of cash, expensive clothing and mobile phones. The suspect was charged with money laundering and subject to a confiscation order to recover seized assets. The DA victim was safeguarded through bail conditions.
2) DA Hub – focused on becoming a centre of excellence for DA, utilising video technology and telephony to virtually respond to non-immediate calls to secure evidence and conduct risk assessments and referring victims to the most appropriate support service.
Example: A DA victim called the police to report harassment, stalking and public order offences. Within 4 hours, a full account was secured via video, safeguarding was completed, a statement taken and the suspect arrested. The suspect was charged and remanded for multiple offences.
3) Due to its geographical location, Kent acts as a gateway to and from the continent which organised criminals use for trafficking and exploitation. Kent Police is committed to working with partners to tackle this crime and through its Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Team and a myriad of training programmes, has provided officers with a better understanding and ability to identify victims and implement safeguarding. This has helped ensure more victims are referred through the National Referral Mechanism, generating more investigative opportunities and providing the vulnerable with effective support.
Example: A Vietnamese male called 999 reporting he had been kidnapped and bundled into the back of a lorry. The male’s phone identified his location in Kent and patrols attended the area and located two Vietnamese males in the back of a HGV. As a result of enquiries, 4 males were arrested, charged and remanded for conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to commit the offence of kidnapping or false imprisonment with the intention of human trafficking.