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Greater Powers for Police to Tackle Human Trafficking

Greater powers to protect the public from perpetrators of human trafficking and exploitation are now available to the police and courts.

With effect from 30th June 2017, the courts are able to use Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders (TEPOs), which impose restrictions on people who have been convicted of trafficking and exploitation offences.

TEPOs can introduce a range of restrictions like stopping someone employing staff, working with children/vulnerable people or travelling to certain countries for a minimum of five years. Breaching a TEPO will be a criminal offence.

Trafficking and Exploitation Risk Orders (TEROs) – which can be granted where a person has demonstrated a risk of committing a relevant offence – will come into force in October.

“We will continue to make Scotland an increasingly hostile place for those who treat other human beings as commodities,” explained Justice Secretary Michael Matheson. “These new powers for the police and courts will help to further protect the public from harm.”

“We have already strengthened the law, creating a specific offence of human trafficking for the first time,” he said. “Now we are making sure that action can be taken when a person poses a continuing risk.”

"We welcome the introduction of Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders,” added Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC. “They will give courts across Scotland an additional tool to combat the global trade in human beings. Prosecutors will apply to the court for prevention orders in appropriate cases and will prosecute those who breach such orders."

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