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Essex Police ask for help over human trafficking in Harlow

News / Mon 30th Jul 2018 at 12:47pm

ESSEX Police are asking residents and workers across Essex to stay informed when it comes to spotting the signs of human trafficking.

Today, July 30 2018, marks the fifth annual World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, which aims to raise awareness of the vulnerable people targeted in this crime, and identify how members of the public can help.

Trafficking of people is a serious crime and a violation of human rights. A person is trafficked if they are brought to (or moved around) a country by others who threaten, frighten, hurt and force them to do work or other things they don’t want to do. Human trafficking is a crime that affects people of all ages, gender and race.

Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie, Director of Intelligence across the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Human trafficking needs to end, and you can help make this happen. Whether you live or work close to an airport or port, work in the restaurant and hotel industries, or if you’re a member of the public with concerns, we urge you to memorise the signs of modern slavery and take action. Your phone call could help these victims lead a better life, free from exploitation and fear.”

“Victims of human trafficking are often forced into modern slavery, whether that’s sexual exploitation, or businesses like car washes or barbers, factory work, or manual labour like building or farm work. If any of the signs below seem familiar, trust your instincts and make a report to us.”

If you notice any of the following signs at a premises near you, or similar behaviour from someone you know, we encourage you to report it:

– Is there a heavy presence of security personnel on a farm, factory or building site near you?
– Are there barred windows, locked doors or surveillance cameras?
– Does it look like people are working and living at the same place, are the conditions cramped or overcrowded?
– Are “workers” collected very early and return late at night on a regular basis?
– Are they driven between premises?
– Is there a lack of safety equipment or appropriate clothing?
– Many victims may appear malnourished or show signs of bruises or other injury. Their appearance may be unkempt.
– How do they engage with the community around you? Victims of human trafficking may be isolated form the local community or under the control or influence of others.

Detective Superintendent Waldie added: “If you yourself are, or have been, a victim of human trafficking it’s important you get in touch. Your wellbeing is our number one concern. We want to be able to protect people from across the world who find themselves in this situation, where their trust has been taken advantage of, by bringing the perpetrators of these complex crimes to justice and helping victims to safety.”

To report suspected human trafficking, or for advice, please contact the Modern Day Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.

You can also report it to us on 101 or, if you wish to remain anonymous, please call the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

For more information on what human trafficking and modern slavery looks like and how to report it please visit https://www.essex.police.uk/advice/human-trafficking-and-modern-slavery/

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