Modern slavery is happening now and you can help end it
When you hear the word ‘slavery’ what do you think? Slavery makes up an important part of history, as does the era in which the law abolished the allowance of people owning slaves in 1833, which ended the suffering of millions of people. Despite this, slavery is still happening today.
While industries may have changed, exploiting people for financial gain hasn’t. Unauthorised local car washes, nail bars, takeaways, restaurants and brothels are just some of places we’re finding victims, and what we’re seeing is just the tip of the iceberg.
What is modern day slavery?
Modern day slavery is the movement and trade of people of any age, often for the purpose of exploitation. Almost all forms of modern day slavery include some element of forced labour, which is ‘any work or services people are forced to do against their will.’
There are many different types of modern slavery which include sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, child exploitation and criminal exploitation.
The power of intelligence
Avon & Somerset Police rely heavily on the public to be our eyes and ears, to be in the places we can’t always be in. Information received from the public could be the missing piece of a puzzle or break-through in a case. This is why we need your help - to protect some of society’s most vulnerable people, who all too often don’t have a voice.
Know your info
What is intelligence?
Put simply, ‘intelligence’ is information. Also known as ‘intel’, this type information is usually sent in from members of the public, or gathered by officers and investigative staff.
Why is intelligence so important?
Intelligence is crucial for the police as we need as much information as possible to get a clear idea of what’s going on, so that we can safeguard individuals and / or prosecute perpetrators wherever possible.
Know the signs
What are the signs?
Not all of victims of modern slavery are aware they’re slaves as working conditions may seem better than what they would receive normally (especially if they’re from another country). Criminals are taking advantage of this and this is why it’s important members of the public speak out for them, by telling us what you see you might help free someone enslaved with or without their knowledge. Some of the common signs which might indicate modern slavery could be a possibility.
Know how to report
There are a number of ways members of the public can make a report of suspected modern slavery. You can report crime directly to police online or you can fill out a form for free here or call 101 in a non-emergency. If a crime is in progress or in an emergency we’d always recommend you call 999.
If you’d like to remain anonymous you can also make a report via the Modern Slavery Helpline. That can be either be via their website or by calling their number on 08000 121 700. There is also the option to download a free app for your smartphone, which also has some information and indicators to look out in suspected cases of modern slavery.