Partnership highlights issue of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Southend
A series of events will be held in Southend on Tuesday July 30th to mark World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The partnership Southend Against Modern Slavery (SAMS) has put together a programme of activities to raise awareness of the issue.
A person is ‘trafficked’ if they are brought to, or moved around, a country by others and forced into a life of labour or sexual exploitation. Organised crime groups will often target those they consider vulnerable. It is a serious crime and affects people of all ages, gender and race. Victims are rarely seen or heard and are unable to escape.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, provided £19,536 funding in 2018-19 for a modern slavery coordinator in Southend to help tackle the issue locally. SAMs is the creation of coordinator, Dan Pratt, who has brought local charities, faith organisations and the voluntary sector together in partnership to work with Essex Police and other public sector services to help safeguard vulnerable people in the borough.
Essex Police established a Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit in March this year. The unit works to gather intelligence, raises awareness by working with partners, supports victims and prosecutes perpetrators of modern slavery and human trafficking.
Roger Hirst said:
“Victims of trafficking are among the most vulnerable people in our communities and it is one of my key priorities to help protect vulnerable people from harm. The more we can raise awareness of modern slavery among people at risk, and indeed the wider public, the less likely they will be to fall prey to those who try to manipulate them.
“It is also one of my key priorities to tackle gangs and organised crime and if potential victims are alert to the dangers they pose, it will be more difficult for them to operate in our communities. I applaud Dan Pratt and all those involved in SAMS for the excellent work they are doing which will ultimately benefit everyone in Southend.”
The programme for Tuesday July 30th is below. Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner will be supporting the event at the Forum at 12 noon. Essex Police’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit will be attending all of the events.
|For 7 days||The Forum||Elmer Square, Elmer Avenue, SS1 1NE||Display screen outside showing videos to raise awareness|
|0900 – 1330||The Forum||Elmer Square||Stall to raise awareness inside the entrance of The Forum Library|
|1000 – 1100||All Saints Church||1 Sutton Road, SS2 5PA||Breakfast workshop to raise awareness among rough sleepers|
|1200-1500||Under railway bridge on High Street||Near River Island, 117 High Street SS1 1LH||Mural being painted under bridge and stall to raise awareness|
|1600-1900||Twenty One||Pier Approach, Western Esplanade, SS1 2EH||Pop-Up shop with stall to raise awareness inside
Short films being shown outside
|1900-2115||Twenty One||Pier Approach||Film ‘I am Slave’ and short talk about World Day Against Trafficking|
For more information about how to spot the signs of trafficking, how to report it, and what to do if you’re a victim, you can visit www.unseenuk.org or www.stopthetraffick.org or call the Modern Slavery helpline on 08000 121 700.