Tackling modern-day slavery is a priority, says Cambs police

Police have spoken about how they are tackling modern-day slavery. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police have spoken about how they are tackling modern-day slavery. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As it was the United Nations’ International Day for the Abolition of Slavery yesterday, Cambridgeshire police have told us what they’re doing to tackle modern-day slavery in the county.

The focus of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery – which has taken place every year since 1949 – is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation.

An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery around the world, including 24.9 in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriage.

There are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1,000 people in the world, and one in four victims of modern slavery are children.

In September, police rescued what they believed to be modern-day slaves from a business in Kneesworth, in what was a multi-agency operation.

A spokesman for the Cambridgeshire force said: “Tackling modern slavery is one of our priorities. It is vital that we are doing all we can to combat the issue in the county.

“We work closely with partner agencies to identify those at risk of exploitation and to bring the perpetrators of crime to justice.

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“Part of this work involves identifying and visiting addresses with partners where it is believed victims of exploitation may be living.

“We also conduct regular welfare visits in relation to sex workers, to ensure exploitation is not taking place and that those involved are aware of issues concerning consent and how to contact the police.

“Increasing intelligence in this area is key to protecting the vulnerable. It’s important that people are aware of the signs of modern slavery and report any concerns to us.”

Being able to recognise the signs of modern slavery may help save someone’s life. Warning signs include people not being able to come and go as they wish,

being unpaid or paid very little, working excessively long or unusual hours, being recruited through false promises, and people having high security measures at their place of work and/or living locations – having opaque windows, for example.

To read more about what Cambs police are doing to tackle modern-day slavery, and for more information on signs to look out for go to www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Modern-slavery/Modern-slavery.

For more information from the UN go to www.un.org/en/events/slaveryabolitionday.