The Home Office has published the most recent NRM referral statistics, covering the third quarter of 2020. Below is a summary of the core findings.  

Between July and September 2,506 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the NRM. This is a 14% increase in referrals compared to the second quarter of 2020 (2,207) but an 11% decrease from quarter 3 in 2019 (2,807). The most common nationalities referred to the NRM were UK, Albanian and Vietnamese nationals.  

49% of the referrals were for individuals claiming exploitation as adults and 46% were individuals claiming exploitation as children. This signals a decrease in referrals for child potential victims since the last quarter. For 5% of the referrals their age at exploitation was unknown. Of the 2,506 potential victims referred in this quarter, 74% (1,853) were male and 26% (647) were female – these proportions are similar to the previous quarter.  

For adult potential victims, labour exploitation was the most common exploitation type, whilst criminal exploitation was most commonly reported for child potential victims. For those exploited as children, an increase in the identification of ‘county lines’ cases has partially driven criminal exploitation. In this quarter, 401 referrals were flagged as county lines referrals, accounting for 16% of all referrals received in the quarter. 82% (328) of these referrals were made for male children.Furthermore, the majority (81%; 712) of referrals for UK nationals were for child potential victims.