Justine Currell - Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner
Bedfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has appointed a recognised national authority on human trafficking as her Deputy - and it's believed she's the first volunteer Deputy PCC in the country.
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 joined Unseen on 1 May 2016 following a 28.5 year career in the civil service.
During that time, she held a variety of operational and policy posts working across a range of UK Government departments.
In her early civil service career, Justine worked in a range of locations on the front line, working with communities and those in need. She moved to central government in 2001 where she led on development of a contentious private pensions bill in 2004. In 2005-6 Justine reformed the Welfare Milk Token Scheme as a policy adviser in the Department of Health.
Upon joining the Home Office in 2010, Justine led on Police Equality and Diversity Policy, working across the policing landscape in England and Wales to improve relationships between the range of police diversity groups and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Her work involved managing the sensitive ongoing relationship and dialogue between Doreen Lawrence (mother of the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence) and the Home Secretary.
During her time in the Home Office, Justine was also responsible for developing the framework for Police and Crime Commissioners pay following the announcement of their introduction to replace Police Authorities. This required sensitive handling, a relevant evidence base and regular dialogue with Ministers to achieve the desired policy and practical outcomes.
For the last five years of her civil service career, Justine was the modern slavery senior policy adviser in the Home Office and led on development of the Modern Slavery Act, including the transparency in supply chains provision and business guidance, working closely with Ministers, businesses and international colleagues.
Throughout development of the Act, Justine put forward and developed several key law enforcement provisions including Slavery and Trafficking Risk and Prevention Orders, Reparation Orders, increased asset seizure powers and consolidation of the offences themselves. These are now hailed as the key tools in the fight against modern slavery.
As part of her role, Justine was also responsible for the Government’s approach to support for victims of modern slavery through the Government’s identification and referral process known as the National Referral Mechanism. She developed and ran the National Referral Mechanism pilots, working with Ministers to test new approaches and led on contractual arrangements with The Salvation Army to provide adult victim support.
She worked closely with a range of colleagues in Police Powers Unit, the Serious and Organised Crime Unit, the Gangmasters Licencing Authority (as was) and the
National Crime Agency to ensure relevant links were maintained between the policy teams and their operational counterparts. Her experience includes working with colleagues on stop and search powers, prostitution, safeguarding, firearms licensing and counter terrorism.
Since joining Unseen, Justine has been called upon to provide her insight and experience on the issue of modern slavery to media, law enforcement agencies, safeguarding professionals and business. She has specifically provided support to a number of key businesses on developing their response to supply chain transparency and is highly regarded in this field.
Justine has successfully developed and launched the new and enhanced Modern Slavery Helpline and Resource Centre based in Bedfordshire which has become a vital tool for all in the UK’s fight against modern slavery.
Justine seeks to use her experience and knowledge of working with UK Ministers to influence other Governments internationally to take action to address modern slavery and, in particular, business supply chain issues.