POLICING leaders and politicians have pledged to work together to help eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking in Wales.

Gwent’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) hosted guests from several partner agencies at the‘Platform for Change event in the Senedd this week.

The event, sponsored by Joyce Watson AM in partnership with the PCC, saw partners sign a giant pledge board, promising to provide support and reduce the long-term impact on victims.

Joyce Watson AM, said: “In 2010, I published a report on Human Trafficking in Wales, ‘Knowing No Boundaries".At that time, the extent of human trafficking and modern day slavery in Wales was largely unknown - it wasn’t on the radar.

"Thankfully today it is. We're now aware that we may come in contact with people who are victims in our everyday activities which is why it is crucial that we continue to raise awareness.”

Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert represents all four of the PCCs in Wales on the Welsh Government Leadership Group focusing on ways to tackle modern slavery.

"Each and every one of us has a responsibility to ensure that people are not exploited and no single organisation can effectively tackle and eradicate this problem alone," he said.

"I hope this event will help raise awareness across our communities and will ensure that victims and survivors of these heinous crimes receive the appropriate support they so desperately need.”

Other delegates included representatives from the Home Office, the National Crime Agency, safeguarding specialists, the Crown Prosecution Service and Wales-wide organisation BAWSO.

Gwent Police Chief Constable, Julian Williams, said modern day slavery "isn’t an issue which is confined to other countries, it’s here on our doorstep" and urged people to contact the police if they suspect someone is a victim.

"A significant problem we face with this offence is people often don’t realise they are victims," he added.

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