Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors takes a look at the new offences that can be committed under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (‘the Act’).

The Act consolidates many previous slavery and trafficking offences, introduces tougher penalties and sentences and enables asset recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’).

Section 1. | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

Slavery, Servitude and Forced or Compulsory Labour

This offence is committed where a person holds another person in slavery or servitude or requires another person to perform forced or compulsory labour, and that person knows or ought to know that the other person is being held in such circumstances.

Prosecution

The prosecution will consider the personal circumstances of the victim, including whether they are particularly vulnerable, when considering whether this offence has been committed.

To that extent, the victim’s consent to the conduct alleged to amount to slavery will not necessarily prevent the offence from having been committed.

Forced compulsory labour includes being made to perform tasks such as begging and pickpocketing.

Sentencing

The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment.

Sections 2 and 3. | Kangs Criminal Defence Team

Human Trafficking

A Section 2 offence is committed where a person arranges or facilitates the travel of another person with a view to that other person being exploited.

Again it is irrelevant whether the victim has consented to the travel.

Section 3 sets out the meaning of exploitation and can include slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, sexual exploitation, removal of organs or securing services by force, threats or deception.

This offence can be committed by a UK national anywhere in the work.

Sentencing

The maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

Section 4 | Kangs Solicitors

Intent to Commit

Section 4

  • Covers the intent to commit offences under Section 2 of the Act.
  • Deals with any offence with the intention to commit human trafficking which includes activities such as supplying false documents with the intention that those documents be used to facilitate human trafficking.

Sentencing

The maximum penalty under this section is ten years imprisonment unless the offence involved false imprisonment or kidnapping in which case it is life imprisonment.

Sections 5 and 6 | Kangs Solicitors Criminal Team

These sections increase the maximum sentences currently available for offenders to life imprisonment and add the offences to Schedules 15 and 15 (b) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Extended determine sentences are now available to judges upon conviction and if there are relevant previous convictions in relation to various serious or sexual or violent offences, then an automatic life sentence may follow.

Section 7 |Kangs POCA Solicitors

Asset Recovery

This section amends Schedule 2 of POCA to make both Section 1 and Section 2 of the Act ‘criminal lifestyle’ offences which enables agencies to recover criminal assets.

Sections 8 – 10 | Kangs Criminal Defence Team

Slavery and Trafficking Reparation Order

If a Court concludes that any person convicted of offences under Section 1, 2 or 4 of the Act has assets available, it will have to consider making a reparation order in favour of the victim of the offence and which is payable by the defendant.

Sections 11 and 12 | Kangs Criminal Defence Team

Forfeiture and Detention of Land Vehicle, Ship or Aircraft

These sections provide for the seizure and forfeiture of vehicles that have been used to facilitate human trafficking offences.

Who can I Contact for Help ? | Kangs Criminal Solicitors

Please feel free to contact our team through either of the following who will be happy to provide you with some initial advice and an informal chat about any of the issues in this article which may be of interest to you.

Mr Sukhdip Randhawa
srandhawa@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 639607989 521 210 (24hr Emergency Number)

Steven Micklewright
smicklewright@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396