Lancashire Constabulary, in partnership with the Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership, has launched a support pack to help organisations, business and individuals raise awareness of Modern Slavery in the county.
Modern Slavery isn’t just a problem in Lancashire, it’s a global issue that is affecting people right now across the world. It involves recruiting and moving people using threats, deception and coercion to exploit them. Modern Slavery takes many forms but the most common are sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and forced labour. Victims are forced to work in various settings such as brothels, cannabis farms, nail bars, car washes, agriculture and even within people’s homes.
On launching the support pack, Sion Hall, Chair of the Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership, said: “It is a myth that slavery and forced labour was stopped in the 19th century with the introduction of The Slavery Abolition Act 1833, and sadly, the impact of COVID-19 has increased the risk for people to be forced into Modern Slavery. The pack, containing social media posts, images and posters, has been created to raise awareness of Modern Slavery and help people identify the signs that a person may be at risk of this type of exploitation, to protect vulnerable people in Lancashire. I’d encourage as many people as possible to download the pack and share the messages to help us tackle Modern Slavery in our county.”
DS Jill Entwistle from Lancashire Constabulary’s Modern Slavery Unit added: “This area of policing is a particularly complex and challenging crime type to investigate as Modern Slavery offences are often interwoven with other forms of criminality, such as organised crime gangs.
“However, together with our partners, we are committed to protecting victims and targeting offenders. By knowing the signs of Modern Slavery the people of Lancashire can report their concerns and ultimately contribute to keeping our county a safer place to live, work and visit.”
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw commented: "These are challenging times but it is more important than ever that we keep Modern Slavery at the forefront of people's minds. The pandemic means that some people trapped in Modern Slavery are even less visible and have less opportunity to seek help and support. In Lancashire we have continued to deliver key messages and information to our partners by utilising technology and moving training online. We must continue to do all we can to raise awareness to make sure those affected can break free and offenders are brought to justice and the new partner packs will help us to do that."
To download the pack, visit www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/safer-communities/modern-slavery/