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Friday, 27 September 2019 15:53

System is failing young people caught up in county lines drug operations.

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Young British victims of human trafficking who have been forced to sell drugs in county lines operations are being charged and prosecuted despite guidelines against doing so, the Guardian can reveal.

The Modern Slavery Act gives young people and vulnerable adults the right to raise a “section 45” defence, which states they were trafficked and forced to commit offences.

The Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) internal policy states that where a child or young person might have been trafficked and exploited through criminal activity there is a strong public interest in stopping the prosecution.

But the Guardian has identified a series of cases where the CPS has continued to prosecute British children and young adults for county lines despite having a positive decision from the national referral mechanism (NRM) that designates them a victim of human trafficking, or being strongly suspected of being a victim of human trafficking.

For full article https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/17/child-victims-of-human-trafficking-prosecuted-despite-cps-rules

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