What is the impact of Section 45 of the Modern day Slavery Act on police investigations?

Research Institution / Organisation

Canterbury Christ Church University

Principal Researcher

Debi LLoyd

Level of Research


Project Start Date

September 2019

Research Context

​In 2015, the United Kingdom passed the Modern Slavery Act which was described by Theresa May as ‘landmark legislation which sends the strongest possible signal to criminals that if you are involved in this vile trade you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and you will be locked up. And it says to victims, you are not alone - we are here to help you." Theresa May, Home Secretary, 2015.

Section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act reflects the ‘non-punishment principle’ however victims of trafficking and exploitation are still found within the criminal justice system in the united kingdom.

The research Questions are targetted at a gap in academic knowledge and operational knowledge in relation to the impact that section 45 of the Modern Day Slavery Act has on police investigations.

Research Methodology

A literature review has been undertaken to establish what others have discovered through research and written on this theme.  The researcher will then be using qualitative interviews to elicit what knowledge officers have and what their perceptions are of current legislation aimed at preventing re victimisation through the criminal justice process. These interviews will be used to produce recommendations as to what officers perceive to be the most appropriate strategies to tackle the current use of section 45. In order to conduct this research officers who have had involvment with investigations during which a section 45 defence has been raised will be interviewed. The sample size will be dependent upon officer participation.

If you would like to take part in the study or have any questions about the research, please contact Debi on Debi.lloyd@justiceandcare.org

Date due for completion

May 2021
Return to Research Map