POLICE are urging the public to remain vigilant to potential human trafficking. The message is part of today’s (Thursday October 18) National Anti Slave Day. DCI Jim McCrorie said: “Today’s awareness event is an ideal opportunity for us to remain vigilant to potential modern day slavery in this county for labour or sexual exploitation.
“In the past we have rescued people being used in ‘slave labour’ and potentially this could still be happening.
“It is a disgusting trade which often has links with many other areas of crime and, with the public’s help, we are determined to stamp it out.
“In the case of sex trafficking we know that many brothels operate under the guise of other businesses, or they may just be ordinary-looking homes in quiet, residential neighbourhoods.
“This is where the public can be our eyes and ears. People see and hear things in the streets where they live.
“The people who run them lure individuals to this country with all sorts of promises - like citizenship and successful careers.
“Often the first thing that happens is their passport is confiscated. Then they are held captive in appalling conditions, forced to do things against their will and given little income or even just the basic necessities of life.
“Many are subjected to appalling violence and are moved around the country.
“At the same time, the criminals enslaving these young people are making tens of thousands of pounds.
“In the case of slave labour we have long suspected that with such numbers of young men coming from Europe and elsewhere to work here, that many may have been misled or forced into working.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.