Introduction To The Modern Slavery and Exploitation Strategy

In Bexley, we have ambitious plans for our borough. We want our communities to thrive.

This means that those who set out to exploit others for their own gain and prey on vulnerable people have no place here.

This 5-year strategy sets out our ambition to work together with partners to recognise the signs and challenge Modern Slavery in Bexley when it is identified.

Councillor Teresa O'Neill OBE, Leader of the Council

Councillor Baroness O'Neill of Bexley OBE, Leader of the Council

Bexley is one of the safest London Boroughs; however, Modern Slavery, exploitation and trafficking do exist and we need to be alert to this and prepared to respond.

This strategy will ensure we are informed and equipped to meet our duties as a partnership.

We need to take quick and effective action to safeguard vulnerable people from the risks and impact of Modern Slavery.

This strategy should send a clear message to perpetrators that we will not tolerate human exploitation of any kind.

Councillor Sue Gower MBE, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, and Chair of the Bexley Community Safety Partnership

Councillor Sue Gower MBE, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, and Chair of the Bexley Community Safety Partnership

Children and young people are vulnerable to abuse or exploitation both inside and outside their families. The context of a young person’s relationships means threats can take a variety of different forms and children and young people can be vulnerable to exploitation by criminal gangs and organised crime groups such as those who run County Lines organised criminal networks involved in moving illegal drugs across geographic areas).

The number of young people exploited in this way is growing across the country and we need to understand that they may be potential victims of Modern Slavery when we are working with young people. This strategy and toolkit will help build understanding across all professionals working with children and young people to understand this issue, respond effectively and seek the right support so that we can combat this evil abuse of vulnerable young people.


Councillor Philip Read, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

Councillor Philip Read, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services

As a Council we have a duty to promote wellbeing; this includes a person’s dignity, physical and mental health. We have a duty to protect a person from abuse and neglect. Modern Slavery is a crime that denies people of these basic rights. This strategy and toolkit helps raise the profile of this crime, that it can exist anywhere and we should be prepared to act when we are concerned.

Councillor Melvin Seymour, Cabinet Members for Adult Services

Councillor Melvin Seymour, Cabinet Member for Adult Services

Councils are in a unique position to challenge Modern Slavery; we come into contact with many aspects of people’s lives and intersect with many services in the borough. We must be alert to this issue and ensure our staff are prepared to act when they are concerned.

This strategy will ensure they are confident in identifying and acting on concerns about Modern Slavery in Bexley.


Jackie Belton, Chief Executive

Jackie Belton, Chief Executive