23.10.2017

Modern Slavery in Cambridgeshire

The Situation

Modern slavery is happening all over the world, including in the UK.  Cambridgeshire is no exception.

STOP THE TRAFFIK’s research and intelligence suggest that labour exploitation is occurring in Peterborough and the surrounding areas.

Some of the commonly affected industries are:

  • Car washes & nail bars
  • Restaurants & takeaways
  • Agriculture & food processing
  • Care homes

Who is at risk?

Whilst anyone can be at risk of modern slavery – regardless of age, gender, nationality and socio-economic circumstances – vulnerable people, such as those that are homeless, unemployed, have learning difficulties or complex drug and alcohol issues, are often targeted.

Frequently they are:

  • Recruited online through social media or face-to-face in the street
  • Tricked with false promises of well-paid work, accommodation and travel costs
  • Subjected to squalid living conditions and forced to work long hours for little or no wages
  • Moved around the country

In Cambridgeshire, the majority of reported labour exploitation cases have involved UK or Eastern European citizens, with victims being exploited by people of the same nationality.

They struggle to leave because exploiters achieve compliance and maintain control through:

  • Physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse
  • Confiscation of identity documents
  • Threats of violence to victims and their family members
  • Social isolation and restricted movement
  • Debt bondage and financial dependence

What can you do?

Modern slavery is taking place in plain sight. The first step to stopping it is learning how to spot the signs.

Report any immediate incidents or concerns:

Police:  999 in an emergency or 101 if non-urgent

Crimestoppers: 0800 555 111 to report anonymously

Modern Slavery Helpline: 08000 121 700 for help and advice

 

Here is an example of a recent campaign post in Cambridgeshire, which raised awareness of labour exploitation in this area:

 

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We received 418 reports of potential exploitation of workers in the food industry in 2018. That includes those working in pubs, hotels, restaurants and takeaways. Popping out for a bite to eat this week? Keep your eyes peeled for signs of exploitation and call us on 0800 432 0804

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