Joint Serious Organised Crime Platform Launched In Poland

UK and Poland deepen cooperation to tackle serious and organised crime and launch modern slavery awareness campaign

The Big Red Bus

The Big Red Bus

The Joint Serious Organised Crime (JSOC) overseas platform was launched this month by the British Embassy Warsaw, bringing together the work of the Department for International Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, HM Revenue & Customs, Immigration Enforcement and National Crime Agency.

The new platform is part of an effort to deepen cooperation to tackle serious and organised crime and to build a British-Polish strategic partnership on law enforcement and security issues. The multi-country, multi-agency law enforcement collaboration has already delivered real and demonstrable added value. In 2017 there were a number of successful examples of UK-Poland bilateral law enforcement operational activity, including tackling high threat international organised crime groups, counterfeit documents, human trafficking, organised immigration crime and firearms and ammunitions trafficking from Eastern Europe.

Modern slavery in particular remains a high priority for the UK Government and for JSOC. 2016 saw 163 reported cases of modern slavery in the UK involving Polish citizens. During the recent British-Polish intergovernmental consultations in December in Warsaw, the Polish Prime Minister endorsed an international Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. The Call to Action sets out a comprehensive approach across the four key elements of prosecution, protection, prevention and partnerships. It also calls to raise awareness and improve understanding of modern slavery amongst the general public, as well as within communities vulnerable to exploitation.

With the aim of raising awareness around Poland, JSOC Poland, in cooperation with partners from the Polish Government, law enforcement and NGOs has launched the Modern Slavery “Big Red Bus” campaign.

The bus will visit towns and cities in Poland and inform local communities about the rights, responsibilities and sources of help and information available for Polish nationals in Poland and the UK. It is an opportunity to spread the knowledge and information throughout Poland and reach out to vulnerable people, their friends and families, make them aware of the potential risks they face, and help them take informed decisions. This will strengthen safeguards against modern slavery, preventing potentially vulnerable people from being exploited.

Working alongside partners from civil society, government departments and law enforcement agencies, the campaign also sends a message to criminals profiteering from this deplorable crime that in Poland and elsewhere we will pursue them and put an end to their criminal activity.