Charity stage anti-slavery demo in Sheffield

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A charity has staged a dramatic reconstruction to raise awareness of a growing ‘hidden crime’.

The Salvation Army, along with performing arts students from Sheffield College, set up a representation of a market stall selling people as a commodity to highlight the issue of human trafficking, ahead of Anti-Slavery Day on October 18.

The Salvation Army highlight people trafficking at Sheffield Station

The Salvation Army highlight people trafficking at Sheffield Station

Actors played out the scenes at Sheffield Railway Station while informing passers-by on how to spot the signs of trafficking.

Major Anne Read, anti-human trafficking response coordinator with The Salvation Army, said: “Large numbers of people still don’t know about the appalling crime of human trafficking and the role they can play in stamping it out.

“Most tend to think it just happens abroad but it’s a hidden crime happening in our communities.

“People are brought into the country and sold from one person to another and end up in all kinds of exploitation to make money for traffickers.”

“A victim could be someone who washes your car or gives you a manicure.”

A new report by The Salvation Army revealed a 62 per cent increase in the number of trafficking victims it supported between 2013 and 2014 and identified Yorkshire as a hot spot for the crime.

Working with its partners The Salvation Army provides safe houses and services to victims to help them rebuild their lives.

Major Read added: “The victims are tricked into a job, stripped of their character and trapped by threats.

“Those who suspect trafficking is taking place should phone the police.”