What is the National Referral Mechanism (NRM)?
The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is the process by which an individual is identified as a victim of modern slavery. Referrals to the NRM can only be made by authorised agencies known as First Responders. Authorised agencies in the UK are the police force, the UK Border Force, Home Office Immigration and Visas, social services and certain Non-Governmental Organisations.
[Find out more about NRM: Visit National Crime Agency website]
The Salvation Army is a First Responder, which means that we can make referrals into the NRM on behalf of an individual or make the referral if another frontline agency isn’t a First Responder and offer support to those that have already been referred by another agency. The Government’s NRM team have a target of five working days from receipt of a referral to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person is a potential victim of modern slavery. This deadline is set by the Government.
If it is decided that they are a potential victim then they will be offered a place at a safehouse and granted a period of reflection and recovery of a minimum of 45 days. This can be extended if the victim needs this kind of support for a longer period or if making the decision takes longer. During this time further information is gathered relating to the referral from the First Responder and other agencies.
They will then decide whether the person is indeed a victim of modern slavery. The target for this decision is within the 45-day recovery period.