TOP officials working to combat modern slavery are to meet in the city.
Simon Hayes, Hampshire police and crime commissioner, will open the meeting next week.
It comes after his office and the county’s police launched the Modern Slavery Partnership to tackle the crime.
The News revealed that people are being trafficked through Portsmouth’s port and prostitution rings are investigated over slavery.
Mr Hayes said: ‘Recognising and responding to modern slavery requires a partnership approach, and being part of this conference will give our partners the awareness and tools to tackle these crimes happening around us.’
Across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight there were 35 adults and five children of 13 different nationalities found to be modern slaves in 2014. In fact, UK nationals were the sixth-highest nationality referred to the centre.
Speakers include Robin Brierley from the West Midlands regional Anti-Trafficking Network, Rev Roger Stone – port chaplain in Southampton, and Philip Ishola from the association of directors of children services.
Home Office officials and the children’s charity Barnardo’s will attend at Portsmouth Guildhall on Wednesday.