We are sending a message to people who use sex workers, to think about the women involved and whether they could be being exploited.
Det Sergeant Stu Peall of Lancashire Constabulary's Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Team said: “Human trafficking is a real issue and sometimes the women involved in this kind of work, are being controlled against their own will. The perpetrators who commit this type of crime prey on the vulnerable and exploit them. They take away their freedom, leaving them with no control over their own lives.
“Lancashire Constabulary is committed to investigating offences of human trafficking committed against victims of any nationality.
The below message is from a victim of human trafficking. Her name has been changed to conceal her identity.
My name is Aleysha.
You probably don't know this but I was trafficked to this country and forced to have sex with hundreds of men against my will. I didn't choose for my life to be like that.
I'm one of the lucky ones as I have been rescued and will be able to spend this Christmas with my family. Thousands of other women aren't so lucky and find themselves trapped in a life of fear and misery.
By having sex with a woman like me, you could be contributing to their exploitation.
Please think twice.
The warning comes as a man has been jailed for controlling a woman for prostitution.
Vasilie Paun, 25, of Accrington Road, Blackburn, was jailed for nine months at Preston Crown Court earlier this week after pleading guilty to controlling a woman for prostitution.
The woman, a Romanian who can’t be identified, was kept in a house in Blackburn and advertised herself as a prostitute on a website. Paun would then drive her to clients and took a cut of the money.
Det Sgt Stu Peall said: “This woman was treated as nothing more than a commodity without any regard for their wellbeing or human rights. The evidence clearly showed that Paun was controlling this woman for the purposes of prostitution.
“Lancashire Constabulary is committed to tackling exploitation of all kinds and today’s sentences are the culmination of the hard work and dedication of our officers who continue to work proactively to put an end to modern slavery.”
“We welcome any community intelligence that may help to identify addresses where prostitution may be taking place. If you suspect suspicious activity is taking place, please let us know. We take all reports seriously and will investigate thoroughly.
“We want to offer help and advice for people who think they may be victims of or slavery.
“There are a number of ways you can contact someone for help. You don’t have to speak directly to the police there are charities that can help you. You can also ring some services anonymously; you do not have to give your name or go to court or give a statement.