Put an end to modern day slavery in Cambridgeshire - call Crimestoppers
- Credit: Archant
The horror of modern day slavery has prompted Crimestoppers in Cambridgeshire to urge local people to be vigilant for victims.
The independent crime-fighting charity is calling on people to be alert to people who could be living or working nearby - often hidden and suffering behind closed doors.
Modern Slavery includes people who are forced to work against their will or controlled by a so-called `employer’ who uses mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse.
Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard, from the Eastern Region Organised Crime Unit (ERSOU), said: “Modern Slavery is an appalling and at times brutal crime in which people are treated as possessions and abused by organised criminals for financial gain.
“Victims of this crime are often threatened and physically, mentally or sexually abused while being paid very low wages, made to live in poor conditions and isolated from contacting their family.
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“Victims are often unwilling and too frightened to tell the police about what they know or are suffering and are fearful of punishment by their abuser.
“We want to encourage people to contact the charity Crimestoppers and tell them about any concerns about suspected modern slavery.”
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Adrian Tudway, head of operation for Crimestoppers, said: “Modern Slavery is a serious crime but it very unreported, leaving the victims trapped, powerless and frightened.
“We want to encourage people to speak up for these victims of slavery, so they do not have to suffer in silence anymore.
“Crimestoppers offers the public the chance to give information anonymously.
“We don’t take personal details and we don’t record calls. We can’t trace calls or information given online.
“Those who contact us don’t have to give a statement to police or go to court.”
Victims commonly do not have control of their money and owe large amounts to the abuser for housing, travel and food, so feel they have no means of escaping the exploitation.
Victims can be from overseas or from the UK and are being forced to work illegally against their will in many different sectors including brothels, factories and agriculture.
Spot the signs and call 0800 555 111:
• Malnourished or unkempt
• Withdrawn, anxious and unwilling to interact
• Be under the control and influence of others
• Live in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
• Have no access or control of their passport or identity documents
• Appear scared, avoid eye contact and be untrusting
• Show signs of abuse or have health issues
Typical employment that victims may be forced into are the sex industry, factories and farm work, restaurants, in particular fast food outlets, domestic service and hospitality.