Modern day slavery appears to be on the increase and incidents are now frequently reported in the press.

Exploitation of individuals appears in many forms and is frequently an element in drug dealing throughout the country in respect of the activities generally known as ‘County Lines’ trafficking.

The National Referral Mechanism (‘NRM’), which came into force on February 1 2008 and was extended by the Modern Slavery Act 2015, is a framework for identifying and referring potential victims of modern slavery and ensuring they receive the appropriate support.

Amandeep Murria of Kangs Solicitors comments upon the activities of NRMand how County Lines drug activities frequently ensnare innocent victims.

If you are concerned about any of the issues contained within this article and which you feel may result in action by any of the law enforcement agencies, it is essential that you seek early legal advice.

Kangs Solicitors is a top ranked firm recognised by both the leading law directories, Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, for criminal defence work of all nature including prosecutions under the Modern Slavery and Health and Safety legislation.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please call our Team at any of our offices detailed below:

The NRM | Kangs Modern Slavery Offences Defence Solicitors

The NRM encompasses human trafficking, slavery, servitude, and forced or compulsory labour.

It is frequently the case that victims do not appreciate that they are being trafficked or exploited having consented to elements of their exploitation or, over a period of time, having accepted their situation.

Where it is believed that modern slavery is evident, a referral should be made to the NRM. It is not necessary to be certain that an individual is definitely a victim.

A Designated First Responder usually makes the referral following the procedure outlined by the NRM and First Responders include:

  1. Local authorities
  2. UK Police forces
  3. Home Office immigration enforcement
  4. UK visas and immigration
  5. Gang masters and labour abuse authority
  6. Local authority children’s services
  • A detailed Referral Form is submitted by the First Responder, containing as much detail as possible, to the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit (MSHTU)  or to the Home Office Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
  • The MSHTU and/or UKVI will make a first stage reasonable grounds decision, generally within five days.
  • Within a period of about forty five days a conclusive grounds decision will be reached once all requisite information has been obtained.

County Lines Offences | Kangs Drug Offences Defence Solicitors

Aspects of County Lines Offending include:

  • organised drug dealing networks exploiting children and vulnerable adults,
  • networks moving, holding and selling Class A drugs throughout the UK,   
  • reliance upon mobile phone networks to take orders,
  • the recruitment, transportation and exploitation of children and vulnerable adults as a crucial link in the sale of illegal drugs,
  • subjecting victims to violence, blackmail and humiliation,
  • victims and family members being kidnapped subjected to debt bondage and staged robberies.

Potential Defences | Kangs Serious Crime Defence Solicitors

Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 assists in that victims of slavery and trafficking are afforded a defence in respect of some crimes committed whilst they are controlled by such activity. However, no such defence can be raised for:

  1. Murder
  2. Manslaughter
  3. Offences causing grievous bodily harm
  4. Firearms offences.

For an adult to rely upon the defence they are required to show that the offence:

  • was committed because they were compelled to do so,
  • was committed as a result of slavery or relevant exploitation,
  • would have been committed by any reasonable person with relative characteristics and in the same position.

For a child, the defence can be raised where:

  • the offence was committed as a direct consequence of their being a victim of slavery or relevant exploitation,
  • a reasonable person in the same situation having regard to the person’s relevant characteristics would have also committed the offence.

How Can We Help? | Kangs Modern Slavery and Drugs Offences Defence Solicitors

If any of the issues raised in the article affect you it is advisable to seek early advice before you are contacted by any law enforcement agency. We can explain your rights to you and provide you with guidance on any likely future action.

How Can I Contact You? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors

The team at Kangs Solicitors is available to assist clients in respect of criminal allegations of every nature including those alleged to be involved in Complex Drugs Conspiracy Offences, Blackmail, Kidnap & Serious Violent Offences.

Hamraj Kang leads an award-winning team of solicitors nationally reputed for its excellence in serious complex investigations of every nature.

We welcome new enquiries by telephone or email.

Our team of lawyers is available to meet at any of our offices in London, Birmingham or Manchester or, alternatively, we are happy to arrange meetings via video conferencing. For initial enquires please contact:

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

Helen Holder
hholder@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Aman Murria
amurria@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0161 817 5020 | 0121 449 9888