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Crimestoppers campaign on modern slavery

The freephone crime reporting line and charity Crimestoppers with Lincolnshire Police have launched a campaign on the issue of modern slavery through forced labour in the largely rural county.

From November 2018 to January 2019, there have been 50 reported cases of modern slavery and human trafficking in the county. Ten of these were found to be in Boston and Spalding.

Modern slavery is an international crime, which affects millions of people of all ages. Forced labour or labour exploitation is another form of modern slavery. Victims are controlled through force, threats, coercion, fraud, deception and abduction. Forced labour is sometimes hidden, but often people are exploited in plain sight. Victims come from a variety of backgrounds. They may be UK citizens, EU migrants or from outside the EU altogether. Signs of forced labour, collectively or individually may include:

Individuals being threatened or experiencing actual harm;
Movement seeming restricted or confined to a place of work;
Debt bondage;
Working for little or no money, or not having wages paid;
Having passports withheld or other identification documents;
And threats of being reported to authorities.

Lydia Patsalides, East Midlands Manager for Crimestoppers says: “We are working closely with the local police to raise awareness of forced labour, to help businesses and organisations identify the factors that may indicate that a member of their workforce is being exploited.

“Sectors such as agriculture, food processing and packaging, construction and manufacturing remain extremely vulnerable to labour exploitation. Seasonal or temporary workers are also particularly vulnerable to exploitative practices.

“Please keep your eyes open for any suspicious signs that forced labour is happening and pass on any information to us whilst staying 100% anonymous. Always.

“We value safe communities. In over 30 years we have always kept our promise of anonymity to everyone who contacts us. Call 0800 555 111 or use our anonymous online form. We cannot trace calls or get IP addresses. Not even we will know your identity when you contact us to pass on information.”


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