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A RAFT of tougher sentences to help end human trafficking has been announced by Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire.

The Modern Slavery Bill will be published year in draft form and will ensure the worst perpetrators face harsher punishments.

The suggested legislation will condense into a single act the sentences used to prosecute slave drivers.

It will also introduce Trafficking Prevention Orders to restrict the activity of convicted traffickers with a new anti-slavery commissioner to hold agencies to account.

Mr Brokenshire, who is also Security Minister, said: "Modern slavery is an appalling evil in our midst. Today’s figures are unlikely to reflect the full extent of this largely hidden crime or the human suffering that lies behind each statistic.

"The Modern Slavery Bill will also send the strongest possible message to criminals that if you are involved in this disgusting trade in human beings, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and you will be locked up.

"All this is a good start, but we need everyone to play a part - government, law enforcement, business, charities - if we are to consign slavery to the history books where it belongs."