Liberal Democrat Wales Office Minister Baroness Jenny Randerson has visited Gwent Police to see the action being taken to tackle modern slavery in the UK.
During the visit Baroness Randerson was briefed on the work of Operation Imperial – a unit set up to investigate alleged offences of slavery and servitude.
Operation Imperial is the largest inquiry of its kind in the UK. The ongoing investigation has led to the recovery of a number of vulnerable adults and arrests have been made.
Detective Superintendent Paul Griffiths briefed the Minister on the progress and the challenges of investigation .
Lib Dem Minister Baroness Randerson said:
“Human trafficking and slavery are wicked crimes. They denigrate human beings and represent an unacceptable abuse of human rights.
“Tackling this hidden crime is an immense and complex challenge. However, as I have seen today, a great deal of effort and extremely good work is being undertaken by Gwent Police and agencies UK-wide to address and stamp out this abhorrent issue.
”It is clear that many of these crimes have a cross-border element and that is why I am very clear that it is important that we continue to cooperate with our European colleagues and neighbourhoods to tackle these offences. Criminals don’t respect international borders so we must work closely with our European counterparts to bring them to justice.
“Our efforts must be constantly reviewed. We will continue to work closely with the Welsh Government and law enforcement teams and galvanise our efforts to eradicate modern slavery.”
Full press release here