South Yorkshire modern slavery team urges people to look out for victims

Bob Chapman
Bob Chapman
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A new police team in South Yorkshire aimed at cracking down on modern day slavery is urging people to be alert to the signs and to report it.

South Yorkshire Police said victims of labour exploitation are made to work excessively and often in hard conditions, with the majority of their wages being handed to traffickers who bring them into the country on false pretences.

Superintendent Bob Chapman, the force lead for the prevention of modern slavery, said: "Not only can victims be subject to long working hours and sub-standard living conditions, but they can also be victims of sexual abuse and threats of violence. If people know what to look out for and report their suspicions to us, we will be in a better position to help.

"Other signs to look out for include a person being excessively dependent on employers or others, and their wages being withheld or vastly reduced. Some victims have their movements restricted and are confined to the workplace or to a limited area.

"It's hugely important that we continue to encourage people to report modern slavery - and any suspicions they have. Whether you think it is happening to you, or to someone you know, please call the police on 101 to report it."

Modern slavery is a growing issue globally affecting men, women and children, but remains under reported and well-hidden in South Yorkshire.

In 2015, 3,266 potential victims of modern slavery were identified nationally, including eight in South Yorkshire.