Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion is urging people across West Mercia to be vigilant and look out for signs of modern slavery amongst their communities.
Those that are exploited are often preyed upon because of their vulnerabilities, with them sadly becoming more vulnerable during the Covid-19 outbreak. Many will be forced to work in unsafe conditions and will be unable to receive medical care through the official channels.
As part of the PCC’s commitment to tackling modern slavery, and protecting the most vulnerable in society, he has worked with partners to protect victims of this crime from harm. He has also provided funding to give victims emergency accommodation and continues to ensure West Mercia Police has the resources to tackle the crime.
With this crime type increasing, the PCC is calling on communities to help play their part during the lockdown.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said “At this time of national lockdown, we are in a unique position to be able to notice unusual activity in our communities, which at busier times can be easily overlooked.
‘We must all be extra vigilant and try and spot instances of modern slavery, taking on the role of being ‘eyes and ears’ in our communities.
“Look out for residences that have more occupants than you might expect, and for things like vans and cars taking several people from the same address, often appearing to be heading off to work. Often victims will be wearing inadequate clothing and appear anxious or afraid.
“During this time of national crisis, it will sadly be the most vulnerable in society that suffer most. You can make a real difference by looking out for your neighbours and your wider communities.”
To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Should you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Victims of Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and any other crime type can contact the Victim Advice line:
- Call 0800 952 3000- you will get through to a care coordinator who will discuss with you what you need
- Email [email protected] and a care coordinators will respond to you.
- Online chat – this option, which can be found on this website: https://victimadviceline.org.uk/, allows you to talk to one of our care coordinators if it’s not possible, or convenient, to talk on the phone
Issued on: Wednesday 8th April 2020