Men, women and children can all be victims of Modern Slavery and there is evidence that this type of activity is taking place in Essex.
Specialist Police Officers believe that people are almost certainly trafficked into and out of the country through the Essex ports of Tilbury and Harwich and the Essex airports of Stansted and Southend. Some of these people are forced to work in places like cannabis factories, nail bars, brothels and car washes. In recent years, police investigations in some parts of the country have explored whether vulnerable people, often British nationals, have been used as forced labour and effectively held as slaves.
It is important that professionals and members of the general public alike are aware of possible indicators that a person is a victim of trafficking and that people know how to raise concerns through the most appropriate channels.
Victims are trafficked all over the world including in and around the UK for little or no money. They might be found working in the sex trade, in domestic service and in places such as: nail bars, restaurants and car washes. Victims may be forced to become involved in criminal activity or even to have their organs removed to be sold. There is no typical victim. Some victims do not even understand they are being exploited and are entitled to help and support.
Key indicators that someone could be a victim of Modern Slavery or human trafficking might be any of the following:
Victims are unlikely to seek help themselves because they do not always realise that they are being exploited. Also, because victims are often trafficked to foreign countries where they cannot speak the language and have had their travel and identity documents taken off them; they do not know how to communicate their situation to others. It is also quite likely that victims have been told that they, or their families, will be harmed if they tell anyone about their situation or try to escape.
It is important to remember that modern slavery, or trafficking, does not just relate to people being moved from one country to another but can also include: the transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people within the same country, county or town and where there is the threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, deception, fraud or abuse of power to achieve this movement.
If you are concerned that someone may be the victim of modern slavery or sexual exploitation, or you have suspicions about perpetrators of these crimes you should report it in one of the following ways:
For more information and advice about safeguarding against modern slavery and human trafficking, see: