Tackling Modern Slavery in the Eastern Region
We are urging people to speak out and report any concerns they have about those that they may live, work and socialise alongside in their neighbourhood or work place, who may be victims of slavery.
Modern Slavery is an international crime that affects an estimated 29.8 million slaves around the world and sadly the UK is not immune to this crime. It is estimated there are 13,000 people held in slavery in the UK today.
In 2015 there were 3,266 potential victims identified and referred to the National Crime Agency and there are many more still trapped in slavery.
What is Modern Slavery?
Modern Slavery takes a number of forms including sexual exploitation and forced labour. Often the person is forced or compelled to work and they are often controlled by an 'employer', usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse.
Modern Slavery is about power, dominance and control over vulnerable victims who are too scared to seek help. Victims commonly do not have control of their money and owe large amounts to the abuser for housing, travel and food, so feel they have no means of escaping the exploitation.
It can include victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK, being forced to illegally work against their will in many different sectors, including brothels, nail bars, factories and agriculture.
Speak Up about Modern Slavery anonymously:
It is not always easy to spot the signs of slavery; however, in many cases neighbours and work colleges may suspect the offence is taking place but they’re reluctant to contact the police or to get involved. Contacting Crimestoppers is a safe alternative.
Crimestoppers is encouraging those who may suspect that someone is being controlled and held against their will to speak out anonymously by calling the 0800 555 111 number or completing the Anonymous Online Form.
Antonia Litten, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers in Suffolk, said: “Modern Slavery is a serious crime but it very unreported, leaving the victims trapped, powerless and frightened.
“We want to encourage people to contact Crimestoppers and speak up for these victims of slavery, so they do not have to suffer in silence anymore.
“We know it’s not always an easy thing to do but Crimestoppers offers the public the chance to give information anonymously. We don’t take personal details and we don’t record calls. We can’t trace calls or information given online. Those who contact us don’t have to give a statement to police or go to court.”
Spot the signs of Modern Slavery:
- Show signs of injury, abuse and malnourishment
- Look unkempt, often in the same clothing and have poor hygiene
- Be under the control and influence of others
- Live in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
- Have no access or control of their passport or identity documents
- Appear scared, avoid eye contact, and be untrusting
- Be collected very early and/or returned late at night on a regular basis
- May have inappropriate clothing for the work they are performing, and/or a lack of safety equipment
- May be isolated from the local community and their family
Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard, Eastern Region Special Operations Unit: “Modern Slavery is an appalling and at times a brutal crime, in which people are treated as possessions and abused by organised criminals. Many victims are threatened, physically abused and mentally tortured, while being paid very low wages, made to live in poor conditions and are often isolated from contacting their family.
“Victims are often unwilling and too frightened to come forward to the police and are fearful of punishments to themselves and their family members from their abuser if they seek help.
“We want to encourage people to contact the charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously and speak up for these victims of slavery, so that we can support those being abused and bring those responsible to justice, so they cannot exploit further people.”
What to do if you are a victim of Modern Slavery:
Due to our anonymity guarantee, we can't take information from victims of crime.
If think you may be a victim of Modern Slavery you can contact the charity Salvation Army. Please call the 24-hour Confidential Helpline on 0300 038151.
Read the Signs
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