Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC funds workshops to reduce slavery, gang, gun and knife crime across Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has organised and paid for a series of cutting-edge Home Office events with senior leaders and practitioners across the county in an effort to develop a joint response to the issues of violence and vulnerability, including modern day slavery and gangs.

The workshops, led by Home Office expert Mick McNally, allowed those working to prevent violence and exploitation of vulnerable children and adults to work closely together to discuss and understand what needs to be achieved across Bedfordshire.

“Bedfordshire is facing some truly alarming emerging issues across the county as a whole which I am working with our partners to help the Force get on top of. Key to this approach is that we cannot simply pay for individual schemes and come up with stand-alone policies to tackle these issues,” said the Commissioner.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been able to have introduced expertise from the home office to those working in Bedfordshire to try to make a real difference in uncovering modern day slavery, diverting young people from entering gangs in the first place and understanding and disrupting gang crime and violence,” added Commissioner Holloway.

Mick McNally, from the Home Office’s Violence and Vulnerability Team, has been working closely with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to understand the challenges Bedfordshire faces.

“We are trying to bring learning and practice from around the country to support Bedfordshire in tackling violence, vulnerability and exploitation. We need to make sure everyone understands new legislation and new practices, like the Modern Day Slavery legislation, so we are making the most of new legislation to tackle old problems such as gangs, drugs and exploitation,” said Mick McNally.

“The workshops have allowed partners to work together to identify violence, vulnerability and exploitation under the umbrella of safeguarding, but with clear governance and leadership. We have been able to get a clear understanding of what is happening and then explain good strategies around prevention, safeguarding and law enforcement in order to tackle it as a partnership,” he added.

“I am really pleased to report that the work to identify those involved in gang activity, in particular, has been recognised as highly useful by our partners so that we can genuinely start to develop a more effective approach to this problem together,” said PCC Holloway.