We are urging people in Staffordshire 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. Last year police in Staffordshire rescued more than 50 victims of modern day slavery – including dozens found in the back of a truck. Cases included individuals being exploited sexually, human trafficking and victims being used in cannabis factories.
How to read the signs of labour exploitation:
Have you noticed heavy security personnel at the premises in question? (This could be a factory, farm or construction site)
- Are there barred windows, locked doors or electronic surveillance cameras?
- Does it look like people are living and working at the same address?
- Are the ‘workers’ driven in between premises?
- Victims are often forced to live in cramped and/or overcrowded conditions
- They are 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
- Victims physical appearance may show signs of injury, malnourishment, and their general appearance may be unkempt
- They may be isolated from the local community and/or appear to be under the control or influence of others
If you have any suspicions about forced labour exploitation, domestic servitude or any other crime associated with human trafficking please contact us anonymously on 0800 555 111 or submit information via our Anonymous Online Form.
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.
Pauline Hadley, West Midlands Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said:
“Whilst Staffordshire is relatively a safe place to live, it’s important that we remind people that slavery has a negative impact on our neighbourhoods. “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. Together, we can help make Staffordshire a safer place to live and work.”
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.