There has been a 126% increase in information received on modern slavery in the last six months compared the previous six, according to Crimestoppers.
The organisation has partnered with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Agency (GLAA) in a campaign to educate the public in how to spot the signs of slavery. The two organisations plan to use social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, to encourage members of the public to report any suspected incidents.
Paul Broadbent, chief executive of the GLAA, said: “The public need to understand and be aware that modern slavery is happening right now, in and around the communities they live.
“Exploiting someone for their labour, forcing them to work, using people as commodities – these practices are abhorrent and we need the public’s help to stamp it out.”
The GLAA, previously the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, was recently rebranded and given additional powers, including the capacity to search and seize evidence and investigate modern slavery offences where they relate to labour abuse.
GLAA and Crimestoppers campaign will urge member of the public to report any suspicions or information they have about incidents of slavery either throught the Crimestoppers website or the confidential hotline.
Emily Van der Lely, Crimestoppers lead on slavery, said: “[The public] can take action on this horrendous crime, without compromising their anonymity. They will never have to give a statement to police, or go to court. No one will ever know where the information came from.”
The signs that someone is a victim of slavery include:
- Signs of injury, abuse and malnourishment
- Looking unkempt, having poor hygiene or appearing often in the same clothes
- Being under the influence or control of others
- Not having access to their own passport or identity documents
- Appearing scare, untrusting or avoiding eye contact
- Regularly being collected very early and/or returning late at night
- Having inappropriate clothing for the work they are performing and/or lacking proper safety equipment
- Being isolated from the local community and their family
Agriculture, transport, warehousing and construction are among the industries where slavery is common.
Anyone with any suspicions or information about modern slavery can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the Crimestoppers website.
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