ESSEX Police attended an event yesterday, Wednesday 26 February, to raise awareness to businesses in Essex on how to recognise the signs and indicators of modern slavery and human trafficking.
Officers from our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevent and Protect team helped organise the event and attended DP World London Gateway in Stanford-le-Hope to support the Essex Chambers of Commerce, who hosted the event.
The event also helped us highlight how exploitation could be in the supply chains of businesses.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner kindly provided funding.
The event was opened by Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, and Detective Superintendent Jason Hendy, who leads on Modern Slavery,
He said: It’s vital that we raise awareness with businesses about modern slavery and human trafficking and the signs associated with these crimes.
“Modern slavery and human trafficking is not solely an international problem – we also regularly support British victims and deal with British perpetrators here in Essex.
“Victims are often promised a better life, one that comes with a steady, legal job and accommodation.
“However, most are exploited for labour and kept in unacceptable conditions.
“The reality is, they are often held to pay off drug debts, forced to do someone’s housework and other domestic tasks, exploited sexually or paid less than minimum wage at a business – be it a convenience store, car wash or a barber shop.
“We need communities – residents and businesses – to be the voice of the vulnerable and that’s why is essential that we attend events like this.”
There were presentations from the Prevent and Protect teams Jana Sherrin who spoke at the seminar and gave advice to participants about how to spot the signs of modern slavery and human trafficking.
The Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevent and Protect team was formed in March 2019 and works to gather intelligence, raise awareness by working with partners, support victims and raise awareness in the community on matters pertaining to modern slavery and human trafficking.
It is comprised of a manager and two officers.
Other guest presenters where from Stop the Traffick, the GLAA and UNSEEN
For more information about how to spot the signs of trafficking, how to report it, and what to do if you’re a victim, you can visit www.unseenuk.org or www.stopthetraffick.org or call the Modern Slavery helpline on 08000 121 700.
To report offences of this nature, you can call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Crimestoppers can be reached anonymously online or by calling 0800 555 111.