Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire Matthew Ellis is backing moves to crackdown on the "horrendous issue" of modern-day slavery.
The police chief has welcomed a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services HMICFRS calling for more partnership working and a greater emphasis on intelligence gathering.
Mr Ellis said: "Supporting victims of any crime is a priority for us. Since 2013, we've been working hard to ensure that multiple agencies work together on modern-day slavery to tackle this horrendous issue."
In the 14 month period between January 2016 and March 2017, 17 victims of modern slavery in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent were taken to safety under the National Referral Mechanism run by the National Crime Agency.
Deputy PCC Sue Arnold, a member of the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Authority, has been working across the business, public and charitable sectors in an effort to reduce the incidents of modern slavery. The partnership includes HMRC, Trading Standards, Immigration, Social Services and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
In 2015, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner staged a conference on the problem with 400 representatives and last week launched a scheme to encourage companies to ensure their supply chain is free from slavery by inviting them to sign a pledge on its website.
Mrs Arnold said: "Partnership is the key to tackling this crime and the business community has a key role to play. The pledge we published offers companies the opportunity to examine their supply chain and help us tackle this awful crime."
Any businesses wishing to sign the pledge can download it at www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/modern-slavery/ .
Slavery encompasses forced labour, domestic servitude, child labour, forced marriage and sex trafficking.
Slavery is closer than you think. It happens all over the world including the UK. Find out more at www.modernslavery.co.uk or call the helpline on 0800 0121 700.