Councillors will look at the extent of modern slavery in the area and see if more needs to be done to counter it.

Hertfordshire County Council’s one-day ‘topic group’ will bring together officials from council departments, the emergency services, the voluntary and corporate sectors.

It will examine the effectiveness of the Crime and Disorder Partnership in identifying, responding to and preventing modern slavery and human trafficking.

“There is no place for unwilling, slave labour in Hertfordshire,” said Cllr David Andrews, chairman of the authority's overview and scrutiny committee.

“We need to establish to what extent modern slavery is an issue – and what are we, with our stakeholders, doing about it.”

According to the ‘scoping’  document for the December 6 event there are tens of thousands of people estimated to be in ‘modern’ slavery across the UK.

Most, it says, are trafficked from overseas with the promise of a good job and living arrangements.

But when they arrive those arrangements disappear and they are forced to work in industries, such as agriculture, construction, hospitality, manufacturing or car washes.

Women and girls, says the document, can be trafficked for sexual exploitation and domestic slavery.

Children, it says, can be forced to commit crimes such as cannabis production, petty theft or begging.

The County Council’s ‘modern slavery and human trafficking topic group’ will particularly look at how modern slavery is identified and the action taken once a victim and an offender has been identified.

It will also look at action taken to prevent it from just moving on to another district or county.

Among the organisations giving evidence to the topic group will be the Borehamwood-based Shiva Foundation, which co-ordinates the Hertfordshire Modern Slavery Partnership (HMSP).

The HMSP brings together around 40 agencies, including district and borough councils, the County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and Hertfordshire Constabulary’s dedicated modern slavery unit, Operation Tropic.

Shiva Foundation director Meenal Sachdev, who is also a councillor on Hertsmere Borough Council, says modern slavery is a problem in Hertfordshire – as it is in every place in the UK.

At the meeting, in December, she will be outlining the achievements of the HMSP and answering councillors’ questions about the ongoing work.

And she has welcomed the decision to highlight and scrutinise the ongoing work in this area.

The ‘Crime and Disorder 2018: Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking’ topic group will be held at Hertfordshire County Council on December 6. The day-long session is open to the public.