"Councils are determined to protect children in their communities, but with essential children’s services expected to experience a £2 billion funding gap by 2020, they face real challenges."
Responding to the National Crime Agency’s figures on Modern Slavery, published today, Cllr Morris Bright, Vice Chairman of the LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:
“Councils will not tolerate the exploitation of people in their communities and are committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society.
“The sad truth is that there is a good chance that modern slavery is taking place in the towns, cities and villages where we live, and our residents may be unwittingly using victims of modern slavery to wash their cars, paint their nails or lay their drives, unaware of the hell they are living through.
“Most of all though, all of us have a crucial role to play in helping tackle modern slavery, if we know what to look out for and what to do if we spot it. Tip-offs from residents can help councils work with partners to better tackle slavery and exploitation. A simple phone call could make a world of difference to people living wretched lives at the hands of heartless gangmasters. We can all work together to stop criminals profiting from other people’s misery, and councils would urge their residents to do so.
“It is concerning to see a rise in the number of referrals of British children. Councils are determined to protect children in their communities, but with essential children’s services expected to experience a £2 billion funding gap by 2020, they face real challenges. The LGA has long called for the Government to address this shortfall and adequately resource children’s services, and it is long past time for the Government to do this.