Anti-Slavery Day on Tuesday 18 October is an opportunity to raise awareness of modern slavery and to highlight the work done by government, police, fire services, charities, business and individuals to eliminate it in the UK.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service continues to work with the Police when we come into contact with those who are vulnerable to exploitation.Â It can include victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK, being forced to illegally work against their will & may occur in many different sectors, for example, the sex trade, cannabis farms, nail bars, car washes, agriculture & the construction industry.
Mark English, Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularyâ€™s Human Trafficking and Organised Crime Co-ordinator said:
"ModernÂ Slavery is a reality and happens everywhere, even in rural counties. Itâ€™s an abuse of Human Rights and effects societyâ€™s most vulnerable men, women and children.
Human Trafficking is the second most profitable criminal enterprise worldwide, surpassed only by the illicit drugs industry. Organised criminals prey on vulnerable people to make money, offering them false promises, a fresh start in a new city, town or country, a rosy picture of a better life, a good job, educational opportunity or marriage.
The reality is something very different and once the victim reaches their destination their passport and identification can be taken by their traffickers and they are stripped of their freedom. In many cases they are given terrible living conditions and the Traffickers take control of their bank accounts and wages. The victims are then forced to work and given as little as 80 pence an hour whilst the Trafficker holds on to the rest.
Very often the victims live in fear and are too frightened or unwilling to come forward but this has to stop. We need to open peopleâ€™s eyes to theÂ slavery all around them and encourage victims to speak out. They need to know that they have the support of the Police and their partner agencies and by working together we can help free them of this atrocious crime.â€
Norfolkâ€™s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green said:
"This heinous crime isnâ€™t something that happens somewhere else to someone else. Itâ€™s targeting and affecting the vulnerable in our society, and it is the duty of us all to protect and safeguard victims. Key to this is working together to spot the signs, giving the authorities the best chance of bringing an end to the abuse and pursuing offenders to the fullest.
As well as highlighting how the UK is already fighting modern slavery, 18 October is an opportunity for us all to raise our own levels of awareness and ensure we can play our part.â€Â Â Â
For more information on the day of action please visit: