Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner -  
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PCC welcomes volunteer deputy to help turn county into centre of excellence over policing of human trafficking
Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has appointed a recognised national authority on human trafficking as her Deputy.
 
Justine Currell, who heads up the charity Unseen UK and runs the national anti-slavery helpline from Biggleswade, has agreed to help the PCC on two to three days per month on a voluntary, unsalaried, basis.
 
Justine has more than 28 years’ experience as a non-political civil servant at the Home Office and formerly headed up its unit dealing with Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.
 
"So little is known about Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery that every police force in the country has to report every case they uncover to the Home Office, but we know it's a problem in this county; we have an international airport that brings in passengers on cheap flights from Eastern Europe, often lured here by the offer of plum jobs which don't exist, and Toddington is the first tachograph stop required for lorry drivers after Dover. Bedfordshire Police has also carried out a number of very high profile raids on traveller sites where individuals were believed to be living as human slaves.
 
"In 2017 that is simply unacceptable and I need a deputy who can bring specialist knowledge to policing and help the Chief Constable and I create a centre of excellence in the county, and region, in this area," said the PCC.
 
"But this is not the only advantage to Justine's appointment; she has worked very extensively in the Home Office and can help me take the facts about Bedfordshire's funding position directly to civil servants, just as I have been doing where the Home Secretary, Policing and Security Ministers are concerned for the last 17 months.
 
"I was delighted when Justine said she would accept the post on a voluntary basis as, right now, I do not feel I can justify the salary of a Deputy given Bedfordshire's budget constraints, even though the workload clearly provides such justification as almost every other PCC in the country has a Deputy on a salary," said the Commissioner.
 
Justine Currell will replace the PCC at meetings dealing with her own specialist area of Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery and will assist Commissioner Holloway, on an occasional basis, with some of the key set governance and information meetings required of the PCC, or her representative, including, but not limited to:-
 
*The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire Tri-force Alliance
 
*The Seven Force Eastern Regional Alliance
 
* The Eastern Region Special Operations Unit
 
* The Criminal Justice Board
 
* General meetings of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC)
 
* APCC Portfolio meetings on International Policing, for which Commissioner Holloway is the national lead
 
* APCC Portfolio meetings on the Strategic Policing Requirement priorities set by the Home Secretary for which she is    the national lead, such as Child Sexual Exploitation
 
* Briefings from the National Crime Agency and other policing or victims' organisations
 
* Executive meetings of the 3 county Community Safety Partnerships
 
* Stop and Search Scrutiny Panels
 
The PCC will continue to lead Bedfordshire Police's monthly governance meetings, deliver a public lead in the media, attend and address public events, sit on the National Strategic Committee for Counter Terrorism and front the Bedfordshire Grants Commissioning Process for Victim Support and Community Safety to distribute her Ministry of Justice Fund.
 
Justine Currell's appointment was ratified at the required Confirmation Hearing of the Bedfordshire Police and Crime Panel on Monday September 25 when they had a chance to question her over the extensive experience she brings as a volunteer to her part-time role.
 
“I am absolutely delighted to take up the voluntary position of Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Bedfordshire. Supporting Commissioner Holloway to achieve her eight priorities, in improving the way Bedfordshire Police operates within the county, is something I am very passionate about and can’t wait to be involved in,” said Justine Currell.
 
Justine joined Unseen on 1 May 2016 following after 28 years in the civil service.  During that time, she held a variety of operational and policy posts working across a range of UK Government departments.
 
"I am very much looking forward to working with Justine. I run a very tiny, but efficient, office of just 8 operational staff, including one who is part-time, with secretarial support, and we all look forward to welcoming her to the Bedfordshire OPCC given all the useful experience she brings with her," said the PCC.