Lincolnshire Police join fight against modern slavery

Lincolnshire Police have united with the four other East Midlands forces to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The joint message, which comes ahead of a national day of action, falls after seven people were rescued and eight people were arrested in Lincoln slavery raids.

Investigations after the raids, dubbed Operation Pottery, are continuing. All eight people arrested are now on police bail.

A total of six people have now been identified as potential victims. They have all been taken to safe locations.

National Anti-Slavery Day falls on Saturday, October 18. It invites members of the public to pressurise the government and private sector organisations to address and eradicate the issue.

Lincolnshire Deputy Chief Constable Heather Roach is the regional lead for Human Trafficking and Slavery.

She said: “Since the Anti-Slavery Day Bill became law in 2010, it has provided an opportunity to raise awareness of the subject with the aim of addressing the scale and scope of human trafficking, and inspiring people to eliminate it.

“Slavery and human trafficking can take many forms, ranging from the sexual exploitation of adults and children to forced labour and domestic servitude.

“It is also often misunderstood. The terrible truth is that it is far more widespread in the UK and other developed nations than many of us realise.”

DCC Roach added: “Along with other public and private sector organisations, the police forces have an important role to play in tackling these crimes.

“Where we have evidence that someone is being trafficked or exploited by another person or group, we will take action to safeguard that person and to try and prevent them from being a victim again.

“But we need to the public to be aware of the issue and to look for the signs that suggest that someone they know of or may have seen is a victim of trafficking or slavery.

“There are tell-tale signs which may suggest someone is a victim of trafficking and slavery. They could appear fearful or afraid, unwilling to talk and may even have visible injuries that may be the result of an assault or restraint.”

Police are directing anyone wanting to find out more about slavery awareness to the Anti Slavery Day and Modern Slavery websites.

One of the ways of reporting it is to telephone the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.

Alternatively, you can call your local police force on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.