Human Trafficking: Children:Written question - 179176

Q
Asked by Lyn Brown
(West Ham)
Asked on: 15 October 2018
Attorney General
Human Trafficking: Children
Commons
To ask the Attorney General, what the Government’s policy is on the bringing of criminal charges against children who (a) are awaiting a National Referral Mechanism decision and (b) have a National Referral Mechanism decision, where the charges concerned are linked to the exploitation in relation to which the referral was made; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Robert Buckland
Answered on: 23 October 2018

No criminal charges can be brought for any offence unless they satisfy the two stage test contained in the Code for Crown Prosecutors: there must be sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution must be in the public interest.

Where a child is awaiting a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) decision, a prosecutor may at that stage decide not to bring a prosecution if there is other independent evidence of their trafficked status and if the offence is not so serious as to require a prosecution. If there is no other independent evidence of their trafficked status, the prosecutor will await the NRM decision and re-review the evidence in light of the decision. If the case is awaiting hearing at court, an adjournment will be requested until the NRM decision has been made.

Where a child has an NRM decision in their favour, a prosecutor will consider this to be persuasive evidence of their trafficked status and will not bring a prosecution unless there is other strong evidence to the contrary and the offence is so serious as to require prosecution.

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