Police Across East Highlight Hidden Slavery

18 October 2014, 06:00

Police in Suffolk and Norfolk have spent the week highlighting the hidden issue of modern-day slavery.

Today it's Anti-Slavery day - and police here have used the week to get the message across "Slavery is closer than you think".

Suffolk and Norfolk Constabularies are backing a government campaign which is raising awareness of human trafficking and slavery. The Modern Slavery campaign aims to educate people on the signs of slavery to help provide support to the victims and catch those responsible.

Detective Superintendent for Serious and Organised Crime Steve Mattin said:

"We’re really supportive of this campaign as it’s vital that people know how to spot the signs of slavery so that we can help identify victims and bring those responsible to justice. We’ve been working hard to educate our officers on how to spot the signs, and we’ve put several measures in place to help tackle this crime.

It’s really important that members of the public know what to look out for, as this could be happening in your workplace or neighbourhood. People who look malnourished or unkempt, who live in dirty and/or crowded accommodation, and are working for little or no money, are potential indicators that someone might be being exploited.

Typical kinds of employment that victims may be forced into include factories and farm work, domestic service, and restaurants. They may also be forced into sexual exploitation as well as into crime such as pick-pocketing and burglaries.
If you or someone you know is being exploited, you can call the police on 101 (or 999 if it is an emergency) or you can call the Modern Slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700."

Spot the signs of slavery - victims may:

  • Look malnourished or unkempt
  • Be withdrawn and unwilling to interact
  • Live in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
  • Hve no identity documents
  • Appear scared, avoid eye contact, and be untrusting
  • Show signs of abuse and/or have health issues