December 11 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
Nail bars and a spa in the west of Suffolk have been visited by police officers as part of a drive to combat human trafficking and exploitation.
Officers went to premises in Stowmarket and Newmarket to make checks yesterday and to talk to staff about their working and living conditions, as part of activities ahead of national Anti-Slavery Day today.
No major issues were found but officers took the opportunity to engage with workers to ensure they were aware of their rights.
Police in both Norfolk and Suffolk are currently carrying out activities to highlight issues around human trafficking and exploitation under the national banner of Operation Eagle.
They say there are a variety of types of human trafficking including sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude and anti-slavery day aims to raise awareness of these issues which are often hidden from public view.
Safer Neighbourhood Teams across both counties have been carrying out local work to engage communities and talk to partner agencies who may to come into contact with those who are vulnerable to exploitation.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Mattin said; “For there to be an impact on human trafficking we need true multi-agency engagement and partnership working. Victims of human trafficking rarely come forward to police due to threats or intimidation, fear, or lack of understanding that they are victims, but it is important that we make it known there is support and advice available and that trafficking complaints will be taken seriously.”
Human trafficking covers the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of people by means of threat, use of force or other forms of coercion including abduction, deception, psychological or physical abuse, the abuse of power or the giving or receiving of payments. People who are trafficked have been found working in cannabis factories, or as prostitutes and domestic servants.
The Salvation Army are the main provider of services and assistance to human trafficking victims. Find out more by visiting www.salvationarmy.org.uk/uki/Trafficking .
They have a 24-hour confidential Referral Helpline – 0300 303 8151 – available seven days a week for anyone who is looking for advice and support, or you can contact Norfolk or Suffolk Police direct by dialling the non-emergency number 101.