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The Role of The Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service is the government department responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales.

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Trafficking prosecutions on the rise as British prosecutors sign up to new anti-trafficking commitments

26/02/2016

The Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales, Scotland's Lord Advocate and the Public Prosecutor for Northern Ireland have today signed up to an action plan committing their respective organisations to work together in order to react to the changing nature of trafficking around the world. The Director of Public Prosecutions for Ireland also took part in discussions. This comes as latest CPS figures show that the number of trafficking prosecutions in England and Wales has increased and is the highest ever.

The commitments set out the ways in which the three organisations will work closely together in order to disrupt networks, prosecute traffickers and safeguard victims' rights within the Criminal Justice Process.

These include working closely with the police in order to ensure that the strongest possible cases are prepared and prosecuted; reviewing and updating the training of staff that investigate and prosecute trafficking and ensuring the rights of victims, witnesses and potential victims of human trafficking are upheld.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders said: "Trafficking and slavery are abhorrent crimes. The profile of trafficking continues to change and signing up to these commitments means that we can work more effectively across Britain in order to tackle these crimes. We are committed to working with our prosecuting partners and police forces at home and abroad in order to bring the strongest possible cases against those who seek to traffic and enslave.

"We must adapt to meet that challenge. We have seen an increase in trafficking people for the purpose of sham marriages and it is also now the case that the number of victims, many of whom are men, trafficked to be labourers or domestic workers is exceeding those for sexual exploitation. We will continue to develop bespoke training for police and prosecutors and share our experiences and learn from each other on how best to prosecute these cases.

"Our focus on these crimes is already paying dividends. This year we're already on track for more people facing trafficking charges in England and Wales than ever before. We have also begun to use new powers such as Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders, which impose far reaching and extra territorial restrictions on the actions of those who have been convicted of trafficking.

"We are also working with national and international partners in priority locations in Europe and Africa as part of the UK effort to disrupt people smuggling and trafficking networks at their source or in transit."

Further information:

Month-on-month the number of defendants being taken to court for trafficking offences is higher than ever before. 183 people were taken to court for trafficking offences between April 2015 and December 2015 while 187 people were taken to court for trafficking offences for the whole of 2014-15.

In 2014 there were 1,139 victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, while victims of labour exploitation (1,017) and domestic servitude (278) were 1,295 combined. In April to June 2015 labour exploitation was 253 and sexual exploitation 248. Domestic servitude was 115.

There have been 12 Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders put in place since they came into force in July 2015.

The Modern Slavery Act came into force on 31 July 2015. The Act introduced new powers which will help police in preventing or prohibiting convicted defendants from activities which enabled them to commit offences of human trafficking or slavery and forced labour. The new powers will also assist in restricting activities of people who have not yet been convicted but there is a risk that someone may commit an offence. These new orders are called Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders and Slavery and Trafficking Risk Orders - STPOs and STROs.

Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders are civil orders which the court can impose if a defendant has been convicted of a trafficking or slavery offence and the court is satisfied that there is a risk the defendant may commit further offences and it is necessary to protect others from harm. Breach of Prevention and Risk Orders is an offence punishable with up to five years imprisonment.

Prevention Orders can be applied for by the prosecutor on conviction as part of the sentence, to protect the public by preventing or restricting a defendant's activities, e.g. working as a gangmaster, travel to specified countries, working with children.

Case study 1

Name(s): Konstantin Sasmurin and Linus Ratautas.

Details: Two Lithuanian men found guilty of trafficking workers from their home country to work in the UK for as little as 8p a day in food processing factories in Norfolk. Trial held at Kings Lynn Crown Court.

Sentences: Both men received 3.5 years imprisonment.

Order: Their Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Orders forbid them from charging people to find work or retaining the passports or bank cards of any workers. If they breach the order they can spend up to five years in prison.

Case study 2

Name(s): Krzysztof Jakubiak

Details: Jailed at Warrington Crown Court in December after admitting a string of trafficking offences as well as related offences for Controlling Prostitution for Gain. He had been involved in bringing 16 Polish women to the UK over a period of 28 months to work as prostitutes across the UK.

Sentence: 3.5 years

Order: Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order forbids him from a number of activities, including not owning more than one mobile phone and SIM card, the number of which must be reported to his local police station, and not being able to hold the travel documents or organise travel for anyone other than members of his immediate family.

Case study 3

Name(s): Roman Ziga, Josef Ziga, Igor Boros and Tibor Suchy

Details: Convicted at the Old Bailey for their roles in the trafficking of vulnerable women from Slovakia. All the women had been brought over to the UK by the organised criminal network in order to marry Indian or Pakistani men, thus providing the men with the means to remain in the UK. Some of the women believed they had been brought to the country for legitimate work.

Sentences: Roman Ziga - 6.5 years. Josef Ziga - 6.5. Igor Boros - 3.5. Tibor Suchy - 2 years 10 months.

Order: Their orders stipulate that for five years they may not travel back into the UK (following deportation) with any person that is not a member of their family. They must also provide the details of where they are staying to the nearest police station should they enter the UK. They must not contact their victims, nor must they travel to certain areas in Slovakia or carry identity documents of anyone that isn't in their immediate family.

Case study 4

Name(s): Mohammed Rafiq

Details: A factory owner who employed large numbers of Hungarians as a "slave workforce" in his multi-million pound bed manufacturing business. The case came to light after two Hungarians, Janos Orsos and Ferenc Illes, were arrested and subsequently convicted of human trafficking charges.

Sentences: Rafiq was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment for conspiracy to traffic.

More detail:

Large numbers of Hungarian men were employed by Rafiq at his Kozee Sleep and Layzee Beds factories in West Yorkshire. Rafiq was aware of the circumstances of the Hungarian nationals who were working at his factories and were exploited as a slave workforce. This defendant was part of a persistent scheme of exploitation involving many Hungarian men over a prolonged period of time. These men were vulnerable and desperate for work; they were promised good wages and accommodation. Once in the UK they faced a very different reality, living in shared, squalid and grossly overcrowded accommodation, some of which was provided by Rafiq. They worked for anything up to 20 hours a day, five to seven days a week, for little or no wages. The money they earned was passed to the trafficking gang, who then handed over minimal amounts to the victims.

Court of Appeal hearing: In December 2015 the trial judge found that there was no case for the factory owner to answer. He indicated that there was no evidence capable of proving that the defendant was a party to the conspiracy to arrange or facilitate travel of any of the victims; there was no evidence that the defendant was a party to the conspiracy; and he had insufficient evidence of knowledge of exploitation of the victims.

The CPS appealed this decision and the case was taken to the Court of Appeal. The Court found in favour of the CPS on the point of law and agreed that a conspiracy to traffic offence would cover the circumstances of this case. The trial commenced on 17 December 2015 and the defendant was convicted on 20 January 2016.

Case study 5

Name(s): Connors family

Details: The CPS took more than £2,000,000 from five members of the Connors family who were convicted in December 2012 of slavery-related offences committed across Leicestershire, Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire. Around £150,000 was returned to victims as compensation.

The defendants beat their victims and forced them to work for as little as £5 a day, and were found guilty of conspiracy to require a person to carry out forced or compulsory labour. The assets recovered include a red convertible Mini, a Mercedes-Benz E350 and a Yacht Master steel Rolex watch.

Case study 6

Name(s): Ramunas Vaznys

Details: Convicted of bringing four adults from Lithuania to work over a period of four months in Hereford. He had arranged employment for his victims but took control of the bank accounts set up for them and required them to pay a significant debt in order to "free" themselves from the requirement to work for him.

Sentence: Four years imprisonment

Order: The indefinite Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order requires that Vaznys does travel with, or organise travel for, anyone outside his immediate family. He is also not to contact his victims nor is he to possess more than one mobile phone or enter the town of Rokiski in Lithuania.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. You can download the Agreement (prosecutor commitment and supporting statement) between the DPP, the Lord Advocate for Scotland and the DPP for Northern Ireland to work collaboratively in the prosecution of cases of human trafficking and slavery from the CPS website.
  2. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  4. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are three national casework divisions: Specialist Fraud (formerly Central Fraud and Welfare, Rural & Health Divisions), Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. CPS Direct is a 'virtual' 14th Area which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  5. At 31 March 2015 we employed a workforce of approximately 5,895 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2,255 prosecutors and 3,288 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk.
  6. The CPS, together with police representatives (formerly ACPO) and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.