Withdrawing from the NRM
Last updated 23/09/2021
An adult may decide they want to leave the National Referral Mechanism before they receive a reasonable grounds or conclusive grounds decision. Sometimes those adults are leaving the UK via a voluntary return.
If an adult leaves the UK prior to receiving a reasonable grounds decision from the NRM the Competent Authority may treat this as a withdrawn case. The Competent Authority should notify the support provider and first responder that the case has been treated as withdrawn from the NRM where appropriate.
If an adult wishes to withdraw from the NRM after they receive a positive reasonable grounds decision (or if they are in the UK and wish to withdraw prior to receiving this decision) they should write to the Competent Authority expressing their wish to withdraw or use a consent to withdraw from the NRM template form. The Competent Authority should notify the support provider and first responder of the decision to withdraw where appropriate. A person who withdraws from the NRM will not receive any further decisions or support from the NRM and their case will be regarded as concluded. This does not prevent a person being re-referred to the NRM in the future.
Children may not generally withdraw from the NRM. If a Competent Authority receives a rare request from a local authority or embassy, for example seeking a child be withdrawn from the NRM, the case should be referred to policy for advice.
Sometimes an adult has not withdrawn from the NRM and has not notified the Competent Authority that they have left the UK but the Competent Authority has strong evidence that an adult has left the UK and there is no evidence they plan to return at this time. They may for example be notified by a support provider that the adult has left the UK with no evidence they plan to return.
In the scenario above the Competent Authority should proceed to take any outstanding NRM decisions in the case. Even though the victim may no longer be seeking support from the NRM, taking a decision will allow statistics to be captured on the extent of modern slavery in the UK and may assist in ongoing criminal prosecutions as well as civil claims that might be brought by the victim in the future. If the victim cannot be notified of their decision as they are no longer in the UK, the Competent Authority should notify the support provider and first responder of the decision and any other relevant parties where appropriate.