PCC supports Essex Police week of action to tackle modern slavery and trafficking
Essex Police is taking part in a week of action to raise the profile of the signs of modern slavery and human trafficking.
These issues are amongst some of the highest priority matters for the force because of the harm they cause victims and our communities.
Officers will be working with other partner agencies throughout the week to raise awareness of labour exploitation and slavery.
Research estimates there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of slavery in rural, urban and coastal communities across the UK.
Modern slavery is the exploitation of people, who are coerced, deceived, forced in to or are expected to accept a life of abuse, servitude, inhumane or degrading treatment.
Victims are exploited for many reasons and may find themselves victims through circumstance or association and are considered vulnerable.
Officers will be involved in safeguarding checks at ports and workplaces to identify potential victims as well as providing education about how victims can be identified, safeguarded and supported.
Det Supt Stuart Hooper of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “It is important for us as a police force to raise awareness of the devastating effect these crimes can have on victims, some of whom are vulnerable or unaware they are being exploited.
“It is also important that we seek to identify where offences have been committed, safeguard individuals, investigate those responsible and bring people before the courts where offences are identified.”
Roger Hirst, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “I welcome this action from Essex Police both to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking and to identify potential victims.
“However these hidden harms plague our communities day in and day out and we must all work together to identify, free and support victims and to bring the criminal traffickers and everyone involved to justice.”
During the week will we will be using social media to encourage people to recognise the signs someone may be being exploited.
Anyone who has any concerns is urged to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.