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21 January 2016, 19:03
Northamptonshire Police have launched a campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern slavery.
Human trafficking is the second most profitable crime in the UK and is a growing crime in Northamptonshire. Victims are usually exploited in one of four ways – forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and/ or benefit fraud.
People across the county are being urged to look out for the signs that victim’s might display and to contact police if they have any suspicions.
A dedicated intelligence unit was set up by the force six months ago, comprising five specialist officers. The team, which will be grown in the next few months to cope with the increasing workload, have already rescued five victims of human trafficking and seized 50k cash.
Detective Inspector Julia Potts leads the new team:
"We need people across the county to be aware of the signs to look out for which may indicate somebody is a victim of human trafficking or modern slavery.
This could be multiple occupancy of a property with people being collected early in the morning and brought home late at night.
It could be that you notice workers are not dressed appropriately for outdoor work including gardening, washing cars or in agriculture.
It could be that somebody is working as what is sometimes called a ‘modern-day Cinderella’ in domestic servitude or being made to work in the sex trade in ‘pop-up brothels’ against their will.
Often victims don’t have any ID documents or cash and they are effectively trapped. Any vulnerable person can be a victim of human trafficking, it could be somebody who doesn’t speak English but that’s not necessarily the case – it can happen to anybody who has some form of vulnerability."
In the attached footage, Inspector Julia Potts and Sergeant Ash Turner, both from the force’s intelligence bureau, talk about human trafficking and the reasons behind the launch of today’s awareness campaign.
For help and advice visit www.modernslavery.co.uk or call the helpline number 0800 0121 700
To report call 101 or call Northamptonshire Police on 101.
In an emergency always call 999.