National Counter Trafficking Newsletter May 2020

 Welcome to our May newsletter! 

Covid19 impact 

As we continue to be affected by the Covid 19 restrictions, we are starting to see some possible trends/issues for trafficked children which we have outlined below: 

 We have seen a threefold (154%) increase of children being referred into service for RPC support during lockdown period compared to the previous 8 week referral period. 

 A significant number of children being referred for RPC support and have an NRM submitted have no allocated Social Worker at the time of referral or are not known to Children’s Services. 

 Many children at the point of referral for RPC support are reported to be struggling with their emotional and mental health. Professionals report that the COVID lockdown restrictions are particularly challenging for children living at home with families, carers, Secure Estates, Youth Offending Institutes or Detention and Training Centers. 

 In some areas, reports of increased use of alternative forms of transport being used by traffickers to move young people around the country – mopeds/bicycles, hidden in vehicles and also imitating Key/Essential Workers. 

 Widespread delays to court cases – with increased pressure on victims and impact on their mental and emotional health. 

 In some areas we are seeing increased local exploitation of young people, with more short-term missing episodes (sometimes less than an hour) – perhaps local drug delivery to users, rather than collection from “trap-houses”. Long-term/long-distance exploitation is still taking place in other areas. 

 Children are experiencing instability as care placements give notice when some young people fail to adhere to the lockdown conditions, often due to pressure from exploiters, and consequently being perceived as putting carers/other young people at risk of infection. 

 Some examples of children from EEA Countries residing in UK with family members, initially being exploited in industries that have closed due to Lockdown, such as car washes, nail bars etc now being exploited in other ways such as drug dealing, pickpocketing, commercial burglaries 

Counter Trafficking @Barnardos_NCTS 

Follow our Twitter feed to keep up to date with the works of our teams across England and Wales 


Our 24/7 Support Line for professionals offers: 

Advice & guidance on Indicators of Trafficking. 

Country specific information e.g. culture, language, customs, history of trafficking. 

Support to make a referral to the National Referral Mechanism. 

Help with the next steps of safeguarding. 

0800 043 4303 

Additional info and support 

Webinars for professionals by Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE) Here 

The Home Office, Modern Slavery Unit publish a regular newsletter for professionals; if you are interested please click on this link to be added to the mailing list. 

NRM Good Practice 

After submitting a NRM referral, and receiving a positive Reasonable Grounds Decision*, it is important to keep the Single Competent Authority (SCA) updated with new information until the Conclusive Grounds Decision is made (at least 45 days after reasonable grounds date). This includes any update on the young person going missing, continued exploitation, risk indicators and information from the professional network who are also working with the young person. The information can be sent to the SCA as many times as necessary, as new information comes to light. 

The NRM is an ongoing process that includes a multi-agency approach. The SCA should also ask for an update from professionals shortly before the Conclusive Grounds Decision is made. However, these questions may not be sent to all professionals, therefore it is important for the First Responder to continue to liaise with everyone within the network and to give as much information as possible, to help the SCA make the Conclusive Grounds Decision in a timely manner and based on all the information available. 

You can send an email to the SCA with the subject header box showing “additional information” and the NRM ref number for the case”. Email: or 

If the Reasonable Grounds decision is negative, the allocated NRM Case Worker will attempt to gain further information from the First Responder prior to making a negative decision. If a negative decision is made, it may be worth re-checking the original submission as it may not contain sufficient details of the exploitation or movement of the child to enable the NRM Case Worker to make a positive decision. If a negative decision is made and it is thought that this decision is incorrect, first responders are able to request a reconsideration by offering additional evidence or by highlighting how the decision may not be in line with guidance. 

Counter Trafficking @Barnardos_NCTS 

Follow our Twitter feed to keep up to date with the works of our teams across England and Wales 


If there is something you feel would be useful at this time, let us know! 

Social Media 

Follow us on Twitter @Barnardos_NCTS 

or Instagram @barnardosncts 

Click for our interactive leaflet. 


Making a referral to our service 

We recommend you contact us through our 24/7 support line, details on page 2. They will usually ask you to complete the referral form. So to save yourself some time you may want to have a look, or complete beforehand. 

Meet the RPC Team- Video 

Please click on the link below to see a brief intro to the RPC Team 

Regional Practice Coordinator Q & A 

Q: The young person I am working with is turning 18 and the conclusive grounds decision has not come back yet – what do I need to do? 

A: Obtain their permission to stay within the NRM and notify the SCA, using the form accompanying this newsletter. 

Q: The young person I am working with has a conclusive grounds decision from 2018, however recent events suggest they are being exploited again, do I need to submit a new NRM for them? 

A: If this is a new set of circumstances in brief, Yes, but if a continuation of original exploitation, No – if in doubt contact SCA duty desk for advice or your local RPC. 

Q: Do you have a good example of an NRM submission 

A: The digital form contains instructions on how to fill in section 3 – exploitation details: 

What did they say happened? 

Provide as much detail of their experience as you can. For example, how they were recruited and controlled. Do not include their name or the names of any other potential victims 

This is where completing a word document prior to starting the online form can be beneficial, so you can just paste in. 

 Use term PV (potential victim) 

 Explain your role & connection to child 

 Overview of child- age, area, legal status 

 Description of Part A- Movement, recruitment etc (ACT) 

 Description of Part C- exploitation/intent to exploit (PURPOSE) 

 List of NRM indicators identified and a brief rationale of why indicator has been identified (see pages 6/& 7 on old NRM form) 

 Any additional information relevant (crime numbers/ court dates, previous NRM decisions) 

 Names & contact details of all professionals involved with young person. 

** Remember not to leave gaps between your paragraphs on section 3, or it will reject your typing and if you haven’t saved it in Word beforehand you will have to start all over again, which can be a tad frustrating! 

Goodbye and thanks 

We have very recently said goodbye to the very sadly missed Jo Arbenz, our RPC for Hampshire and Isle of Wight, who has moved to a new and exciting role in Sussex. Watch this space for details of her successor