Today is Anti-Slavery Day, a day when attention will be focussed on raising awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Modern slavery is a serious crime that sees victims exploited, controlled, and often threatened or punished to prevent them from reporting crime.
Anyone can be a target for modern slavery. But some people can be at more risk because of money, social or health issues, or because of their age or immigration status.
Modern slavery includes human trafficking, when victims are taken between countries or around a country so they can be exploited.
Detective Chief Inspector Nick Cobley, said: “Modern slavery is a form of serious and organised crime, with people conned and coerced to work in extremely poor conditions, often under the threat of violence against themselves or their families.
“We often associate modern slavery with car washes and the construction and beauty industries, however, people working in our rural areas as seasonal workers can also be victims of this type of crime.
“Among those being exploited, often by drugs gangs, are children and vulnerable adults, who can be too frightened to speak up themselves to either disclose offences or seek support. This can be due to stigma, prejudice or embarrassment or the fear that they will not be believed.
“This Ant-Slavery Day we’re calling on people to make sure they’re aware of the signs of modern slavery and what they should do if they have concerns that someone could be a victim of this type of crime.”
The signs someone may be a victim of modern slavery, include:
Not in possession of passports or other paperwork
They depend on their employer for work, transport, and accommodation, without choice
They’re not able to communicate freely with others
They have no access to medical care
They’re unable to choose when and where they work
The have wages paid into a bank account used by others
Modern slavery is taking place in Northamptonshire. If you have concerns, report them.
101 for non-emergencies
999 if someone is in danger or a crime is taking place
Anonymously with Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111 or Crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information
The Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline on 08000 121 700