In April 2011 the Welsh Government appointed the first Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator in the UK, with the main aim being to coordinate the best possible support for victims and to make Wales a hostile place for Human Trafficking.
Carl Sargeant said he would continue to encourage the UK Government and other devolved administrations to follow Wales’s lead in this area and ensure they have appropriate mechanisms in place to tackle this crime.
The Minister said the Welsh Government had put in place bespoke training for Senior Police Officers in dealing with Human Trafficking which will start in the next three months and involve all the Welsh Police Forces and the Crown Prosecution Service. He added that systems have also been created to ensure that a proportionate and intelligence led response is in place to prevent and tackle any potential Human Trafficking surrounding the Olympic Games in Wales.
Carl Sargeant said:
"The threat of risk and harm in Wales during the Olympics and Paralympics 2012 has been comprehensively researched working closely with the London and UK Investigative Agencies together with the UK Human Trafficking Centre and has produced an in depth risk assessment.
"This has then been supported with clear direction to our strategic partners across Wales in identifying and responding to potential victims of trafficking."
The Minister said that closer collaboration is now in place to target harden entry points for people who are being trafficked. He said:
"The Coordinator has worked closely with the UKBA and the Welsh Extremist and Counter Terrorist Unit (WECTU) to highlight Human Trafficking Intelligence as well as recommending covert and overt operations that have since been implemented to strengthen the already strong Welsh activity around our ports.
"Wales is now firmly on the map in addressing this very complex and hidden issue. It is important that we do not lose this momentum but build on the awareness raising and training that has been delivered by the Anti Human Trafficking Coordinator, ensuring that we have a zero tolerance of the people who traffic and support the victims in the most appropriate way."