West Midlands Regional Anti Trafficking Network - Multi-agency approach

The West Midlands Regional Anti Trafficking Network (RAT Network) is a great example of multi-agency approach to fighting human trafficking. It has been in existence since 2008. It is a network of practitioners who are concerned with the trafficking of people in their day-to-day work, which impacts upon the West Midlands. The network covers the police areas of West Midlands, West Mercia and Staffordshire Police Services, but is not constrained by Police geographical borders. It is one of only a very small number of networks in the UK, but is by far the largest.

The West Midlands Regional Anti Trafficking Network (RAT Network) has been in existence since 2008. It is a network of practitioners who are concerned with the trafficking of people in their day-to-day work, which impacts upon the West Midlands. The network covers the police areas of West Midlands, West Mercia and Staffordshire Police Services, but is not constrained by Police geographical borders.

Our network consists of over 55 members from statutory and non-statutory agencies, including local authorities, NGOs, Salvation Army, Big Issue, UKVI, NCA, GLA, DWP, UKHTC, ACPO and HMRC. (The full list will be published on a further blog)

The network is coordinated by Kerry Smith, a Methodist Minister and CEO of the Adavu project, and is chaired by Robin Brierley, an independent consultant working for Adavu and an ex employee of SOCA and the UKHTC.

The network does not receive or provide funding and exists for the purposes of connecting agencies, building knowledge, identifying trends of trafficking and promoting best practice and partnership working.

The RAT network is one of only a very small number of networks in the UK, but is by far the largest. It has been recognised at ministerial level as best practice and has been mentioned in the CSJ report on trafficking in the UK.

It’s our intention, with support from the HTF, to link with other existing networks in the UK and promote the forming of new networks.

Linking with other networks assists in exchanging best practice, identifying trends of trafficking and providing support where necessary and appropriate.

If you would like to know more about the network or are considering forming one in your area please contact Robin Brierley (07412 482791) or Kerry Smith (01214481790).