Anti-slavery awareness week launches today with Gwent, South Wales and Dyfed Powys Police joining together to raise awareness of modern slavery and how to spot the signs.
Throughout the week, as well as raising awareness, we will be identifying offences and supporting victims.
Detective Superintendent Leanne Brustad, the Operational Policing Lead on Modern Slavery for Wales, said:
“We want to break down the traditional views of slavery, to offer support to victims and tackle the perpetrators. When thinking about modern day slavery, many assume it only happens in other countries, but the reality is slavery still exists in Wales today.
Forced labour is the most common purpose of trafficking in industries such as agriculture, construction and hospitality.
As well as forced/domestic labour men, women and children may be forced into various types of slavery including forced prostitution/ sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and child trafficking.
A significant problem with this type of offence is victims often don’t realise they are actually victims and are often living in fear of those controlling them.
We’re urging anyone who suspects someone may be a victim to contact us on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
There are a number of signs that can help identify victims of trafficking:
- Not having a passport or other means of identification
- They are withdrawn and refuse to talk to, or appear afraid to talk, a person in authority
- They are unable, or reluctant to give details of accommodation or other personal details
- They work in various locations
- Having limited freedom of movement
- They perform excessive housework chores and rarely leaves the residence
- They have low or no salary or are permanently deprived of a large part of their earnings by another person
- Being escorted whenever they go and or return from work and other activities
- They work long hours or have few/no days off
- They sleep where they work
- They have no privacy, sleeping in shared and over-crowded spaces
- Security measures are in place to keep them at the work place, for example locked doors and windows
- They are not dressed properly for the work they do, for example they don't have protective equipment or warm clothes
If you suspect slavery is happening near you please report it to police on 101, in an emergency always dial 999 or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 012 1700.
You can read more about Modern Slavery.