The police can help investigate whether a criminal offence has been committed against a victim. There is no obligation on victims to cooperate with this process. It will not hurt their case as a victim of modern slavery or stop them getting support or the right to stay here if they do not want to get involved.
NRM referral form and the police
The current NRM referral form for adults says that the police will be given a copy to help the government with counting incidents of modern slavery but they may not pursue a case unless the individual engages with the police directly. If someone does not understand what all this means they should ask questions with an interpreter before signing the form. They can change their minds later if they do not want to pursue a case.
The form asks if the individual will agree to being contacted by the police about their modern slavery experiences and be kept up to date on action taken. If someone does not understand what all this means they should ask questions with an interpreter before signing the form. They also might want to speak to the police just to find out more after the referral is made. They can change their minds later if they do not want to pursue a case.
Automatic police referral
If a victim is given a positive reasonable ground decision, their case will automatically be referred by the Home Office to decide if the case is strong enough to consider a police investigation.
They can refer the details onto another department in the Home Office, which includes seconded police officers who can then refer to the local police force.
If the victim does not know what has happened with any police investigation they should ask the Home Office for an update.
If they are sure they do not want any police involvement they should tell the Home Office as soon as they know this.
Victims can always go to the police themselves at any time to ask them to investigate a crime against them.
It is important to remember that less serious crimes have time limits between when they happened and when they can go to court – so if a victim might be interested in an investigation they should get more information as soon as possible to make an informed decision.
If a victim is helping in a police investigation, the police can ask the Home Office for a residence permit so the victim can stay while the criminal case is ongoing. Victims and legal representatives can also ask for a residence permit if the victim is helping the police although this has not yet been put in the Home Office guidance.