As part of our summer-long #BeyondTheBeat campaign to highlight the hidden demands on policing, we are urging residents to familiarise themselves with the potential signs of Modern Slavery.
Modern Slavery is the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women and men through the use of force, coercion, deception, and abuse of vulnerability or other means for the purpose of exploitation.
Individuals may be trafficked into, out of or within the UK, and they may be trafficked for a number of reasons including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and organ harvesting.
Often, people may not see themselves as victims.
Assistant Chief Constable Craig Holden, Force Lead for Crime, Justice and Vulnerability at Wiltshire Police, said: “Although Modern Slavery presents itself in many different ways in our communities, over the last few years the most notable and visible have been within nail bars and car washes.
“There has also been a significant trend in off-street prostitution, often involving women trafficked into sexual slavery; many who thought they were coming to the UK for other jobs and a better life.
“It is understandable that spotting the signs of modern slavery can be difficult but it is vital that we as a Force, and our local communities, are educated and have an approach that helps us to protect vulnerable people and prevent their exploitation.
“Information from the public is vital in the fight against modern slavery. Together, we can eradicate slavery and trafficking in Wiltshire, and reduce the exploitation of the most vulnerable people”.
What are some of the signs of exploitation?
• Lack of personal protective equipment
• Chaperoned or accompanied everywhere
• Money being withheld from them
• Language barriers
• Working long hours
• Lack of possessions
• Passport held by someone else
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “Wiltshire Police and local partner agencies play a crucial role in tackling modern slavery and human trafficking across the county.
“This type of crime is an emerging national threat, and the reality is the Police cannot tackle this alone and need to draw upon the local community and partners to play an equal part. I would urge the public to remain on the look-out for possible exploitation in their communities and to report any concerns they have.
“Safeguarding the most vulnerable people and offering the best possible service to victims across Wiltshire and Swindon continues to be a top priority for the Police”.
To report your concerns call us on 101. If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999 straight away.
You can also report anonymously via:
• The National Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700
• Or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111