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Police ask public to report signs of labour exploitation

Warwickshire Police is asking the public to play a part in tackling labour exploitation by looking out for the signs and reporting any concerns they may have.

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Assistant Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith said "Please do not assume this does not affect you in Warwickshire. Reports of modern slavery are rare with 30 cases reported in the last year to December 2018. We believe this is because it is largely a hidden crime and we need the public's help to spot the signs and report any concerns so that they can be properly investigated."

"The types of work where we believe people could be exploited in Warwickshire include warehousing and logistics work, agriculture, food processing and packing, car wash industries and barbers. This is by no means an exhaustive list."

Labour exploitation involves people being forced to work for little or no pay. They may be assaulted or threatened with violence, denied access to their passport and made to live in poor and overcrowded conditions.

 

 

 

Signs to look for include:

  • Not having enough food
  • Being scared and alone
  • Always wearing the same clothes
  • Overcrowded accommodation
  • Living and working at same location
  • Unusual travel and work times

Survivors can feel reluctant to seek help, feel hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcement agencies.

This is why the public can play a vital role in helping identify potential victims who may need help and reporting their concerns.

If you know someone who needs help, please call the police on 101 or the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) on 0800 432 0804. We want to help.

In the 12 months to December 2018, Warwickshire Police referred 52 potential victims of modern slavery into the UK National Referral Mechanism which is a national framework to ensure they receive the appropriate support. Referrals to the NRM can only be made by authorised agencies known as First Responders. Authorised agencies in the UK are the police force, the UK border force, Home Office immigration and Visas, Social Services and certain non-governmental organisations.

Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe said "It's really vital that everyone comes together to identify and protect the most vulnerable people in our society and ensure that anyone who is being exploited through modern slavery and human trafficking receives the right protection and support. We have been organising awareness events for frontline officers across a number of agencies, as well as producing a number of information packs aimed at both those that may be victims of modern slavery, as well as to help members of the public identify and contact enforcement agencies."

The role of the GLAA is to protect all workers in the UK from exploitation.

For more information about the GLAA click here https://www.gla.gov.uk/who-we-are/

Please find below awareness videos from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority GLAA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cR2S7nwIKOk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAMmFCRdwH8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9tN6FM28ws

Published 09/04/19