Cambridgeshire Police Need Public's Help To Stop Human Trafficking

1 July 2015, 06:15 | Updated: 1 July 2015, 06:17

Police are asking for the public's help to put an end to human trafficking in Cambridgeshire.

Human trafficking, also referred to as modern-day slavery, is happening right across the world and recent investigations have shown that it's happening in Cambridgeshire too.

Members of the public are being asked if they would recognise human trafficking if they saw it. Most people wouldn't therefore police are urging people to make themselves familiar with the signs and open their eyes to human trafficking.

There are 30 million slaves today, more than at any other time in history. Men, women and children around the world are forced to work for very little money, sometimes without pay at all, and the number of those living at risk is growing.

Throughout July Cambridgeshire Constabulary will be raising awareness of the issues of modern slavery and educating members of the public on how to spot the signs.

A key part of the campaign is to educate members of the public about the signs of human trafficking, what constitutes a trafficking offence, but most importantly of all, to really know what is going on in their neighbourhood.

Detective Chief Inspector Becky Tipping, force tactical lead for human trafficking, said: "Our priority has been, and always will be, to protect members of the public from harm. We are committed to working with partner agencies to tackle human trafficking and we are targeting those who gain from others' suffering.

"Victims often end up in over-crowded accommodation and immediately placed in debt to a criminal who controls their affairs, after having been promised a better life in the UK with well-paid work.

"They are paid wages well below the legal minimum for extremely long hours and their pay is often taken to service debt on their accommodation.

"Victims are usually too scared to tell someone of their situation and are reluctant to seek help from authorities. However, I would urge anyone who feels they are being exploited or has any concerns about individuals to contact police.

"We relentlessly continue in our work to put an end to human trafficking in Cambridgeshire but without people coming forward and giving us information it makes it much more difficult."

The human trafficking section of the force website has lots of information about the different types of trafficking, and most importantly, how to spot the signs.

Anyone who suspects human trafficking is happening around them, whether it may be where they live, work or socialise, should report it to police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 - that piece of information, no matter how big or small, could potentially save someone's life and give them back control.