Posted on 17th October 2019

“You could be saving lives” is the message Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is highlighting to Cheshire residents to mark Anti-Slavery Day on Friday 18 October.

Anti-Slavery Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the devastating effects of human trafficking and modern slavery on our communities.

PCC David Keane’s plea for action comes after a survivor of modern slavery, who spent 15 years trapped in forced labour, spoke out to help raise public awareness of the issues.

Four videos of the survivor were recently released and are being promoted again today to mark Anti-Slavery Day.

The videos highlight the treatment the survivor suffered at the hands of criminals and the local partnership support he has subsequently received.

David said:

“Modern slavery and human trafficking are horrific crimes that have no place in the 21st century. Our local communities have a key role to play in spotting the signs of slavery and trafficking and reporting any suspicions.

“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 Cheshire Police.”

Potential signs to look out for include:

  • Requirement to pay for tools and food
  • Seem under control, told not to speak to others
  • Picked up in a van, same time same place every day
  • Excessive work hours/few breaks (Exploitation in this case can occur in various industries including construction, manufacturing, car washes, laying driveways, hospitality, food packaging, agriculture, maritime and beauty)
  • Work conditions for victims are usually poor i.e. not provided with protective clothing and the area of work being unsafe.
  • Control mechanisms are used to keep workers from leaving for example, withholding important documents
  • Withholding of wages or excessive wage reductions
  • Pay that is less than minimum wage