It has just published its first modern slavery statement setting out the actions the council will take to ensure it does not condone or support human trafficking and modern slavery in any way and how it will encourage the identification, rescue and support of victims and prosecution of those who exploit and harm them.
Sixteen people from a range of organisations across Salford, including the council, have been trained to deliver training on modern slavery to help identify victims more effectively and make referrals into support. Further training will be made mandatory for all council commissioning and procurement staff.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said:
“Modern slavery is a vile crime which has no place in Salford or anywhere in the world. No-one should treated as a commodity and exploited for criminal gain.
“As a council one of the ways we can take action against exploitation is by expecting our suppliers to pay or work towards paying the real Living Wage and sign up to the provisions of the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. We can also set high employment standards as a benchmark for others to follow in Salford.”
In 2015 a council officer investigating scams at an address in Eccles alerted police and helped rescue a deaf mute girl who was trafficked into the UK from Pakistan and suffered 10 years of modern slavery and abuse. The couple holding her were prosecuted and jailed.
In 2018 the council unanimously backed a motion to tackle modern day slavery.
Councillor Jim King who backed the motion said,
“Slavery still stalks our world, our Nation and our City.”
The council is also tackling criminals who seek to exploit people through Salford Community Safety Partnership, which brings together the council, police and a range of other agencies to fight crime and keep the community safe.
Project Gulf, set up 10 years ago to tackle serious and organised crime works to disrupt, deter and prosecute gangs and seize money under the Proceeds of Crime Act to fund community projects. The pioneering project has inspired other police forces, including London and Merseyside, to copy the model.
Salford City Council also supports the Co-Operative Party Charter against Modern Slavery as part of its vision to create 'a better and fairer Salford’ by tackling poverty and inequality and ensuring the city provides opportunities for all.
Anyone with concerns about modern slavery can find more information at www.modernslaveryhelpline.org or call 08000 121 700.