Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said 239 suspects had been charged with modern slavery offences over the past year — up 27 per cent on the year before.
Yet the number of convictions did not increase significantly — 185 people were found guilty over the same period, four more than last year, but down from 192 in 2016.
“We have yet to see any significant increase in the rate of convictions of those who traffic and enslave people,” said Kate Roberts, head of the Human Trafficking Foundation.
“This underlines the importance of empowering and supporting victims to speak out and come forward to the authorities.”
Britain has been regarded as a world leader in the fight against trafficking since passing the 2015 Modern Slavery Act to fight a crime estimated to affect 40 million people worldwide.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.