By Sean Weston.
You could be saving lives by uncovering modern day Slavery.
That’s the message from West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson ahead of this year’s Anti-Slavery Day on 18th October.
Mr Burns-Williamson, who is also the National Lead PCC on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery is supporting the national day in the wake of a survivor of 15 years forced labour speaking to Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner about the conditions he went through.
Videos of the survivor have been posted to YouTube to highlight the suffering the survivor went through at the hands of the criminals.
Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “The survivor’s story is harrowing and demonstrates the very real conditions victims of these awful crimes can be forced to live and work in. However, we can all play a part in stopping these abuses and rescuing victims.
“The survivor is now safe and being support by a fantastic organisation, the Palm Cove Society, who have enabled him to rebuild his life and live independently.”
Back in July, it was reported by West Yorkshire Police that there had been a 50% increase in reports of modern slavery. One hundred and twenty-one people came forward, with stories of victims being forced to work in squalid conditions with low or no wages.
Photo Credit – ITV Yorkshire.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Scott of the Crime unit in Protective Services said: “Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime. Those who commit it are trading in human misery and look to conceal their crimes by ‘hiding in plain sight.’
“I would urge people to watch these videos and see for themselves the bravery this victim has shown in not only coming forward but then reliving his ordeal so he could help others.
“Anti-Slavery Day is important as it helps us to continue pushing the message as far and as wide as possible, helping people to know the potential signs. It could be happening on your street or in your workplace.”
Photo Credit – edie.net
Mr Burns-Williamson outlined the signs of slavery and how to take action against it:
“General indicators of human trafficking or modern slavery can include signs of physical or psychological abuse, fear of authorities, irregular activity at homes or addresses, poor living conditions and working long hours for little or no pay. By reporting suspicions you could be saving lives.”
“We need you to report any suspicions, no matter how small, to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or to the Police.”
Forced Labour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-kAMTSD2mk
Living Conditions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG10Yi0hWkA
Support for Victims: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ot1iLhJL7g
GOV’s 2018 Report on Modern Slavery https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/749346/2018_UK_Annual_Report_on_Modern_Slavery.pdf