Raising awareness of modern slavery on anti-slavery day
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We are supporting Anti-Slavery Day by raising awareness and encouraging reporting of human trafficking and modern slavery taking place across our county.
Thousands of people in the UK are trapped in conditions of modern slavery and it is happening in Staffordshire.
It can take many forms but the most common are sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude. Victims are forced to work against their will in many different settings including brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars, car washes, agriculture and even within people’s homes.
Human trafficking can also be a part of modern slavery as a person is moved from one place to another (this could be country to country, town to town, or even as simple as one room in a building to another). Even if a victim consents and is willing to be moved, trafficking could still be taking place.
The perpetrators of human trafficking are organised criminals who make money by preying on vulnerable people. They use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and control individuals, often with false promises of a fresh start and better quality of life.
The reality is, they are forced into, or expected to accept, a life of abuse, servitude, inhumane and degrading treatment. Very often the victims live in fear and are too frightened or unwilling to come forward, and this is why we need your help.
Detective Inspector Richard Gathergood, the force lead for Adult Safeguarding and Exploitation, said: “We are committed to protecting vulnerable and exploited victims and pursuing those who commit these offences.
“Officers take part in specialist training to enhance their understanding of modern slavery in order to better address and deal with situations they might find. We also have a dedicated Adult Safeguarding and Exploitation team, who focus on the investigative response for modern slavery and human trafficking, and work alongside partner agencies on proactive operations.
“Modern slavery could be happening in your community so it’s important you are familiar with the signs that could indicate someone is a victim and help us to investigate by reporting any concerns.”
The signs aren’t always obvious but these are some that you may notice:
- Being scared and withdrawn - Lacking in confidence - Unexplained injuries - No access to passport or documents - Limited contact with family, or outside world - Doesn’t know home or work address - Distrustful of the authorities - Poor hygiene and unkempt appearance - Signs their movements are being controlled - Allows others to speak for them when addressed directly
Anyone with concerns about individuals who may be involved are urged to call us on 101 (999 in an emergency) or go to: Report | Staffordshire Police
Alternatively, suspicions can be raised anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you think you are a victim of modern slavery please seek help. The Modern Slavery Helpline can assist you to understand what help is available including information, advice and ways to access support. The helpline is confidential and you don't have to give your name if you don’t want to.
Staffordshire Police committed to eliminating discrimination and exploitation in all business dealings or our supply chain, acting with transparency, putting effective systems and controls in place to safeguard against all forms of Modern Slavery.
Our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, in conjunction with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Staffordshire Commissioner’s Office, has recently been signed by Chief Constable Chris Noble.