Slavery is when an individual is exploited by others, for personal or commercial gain, resulting in losing their freedom.

Modern slavery is real and it’s happening in our neighbourhoods across Merseyside. It is estimated that 100,000 people living in the UK are in Modern Slavery. It can affect all men, women and children and take many forms including:

  • Human trafficking
  • Forced labour
  • Child exploitation
  • Forced and early marriage

You can play a part in stamping out exploitation by learning to spot the signs.

Group photo of the Modern Slavery walk

General signs of Modern Slavery

What to do if you spot the signs

Modern Slavery Help line graphic - Modern Slavery speaks many languages and so do we.

If you suspect someone is a victim of exploitation or if you’re unsure and have concerns, here’s what you can do:

  • Report your concern to national charity Unseen via their app
  • Call the Modern Slavery & Exploitation helpline free on 08000 121 700. They are open 24/7 and are totally confidential                                                  
  • Fill out an online form

To find out more about the types of Modern Slavery and how to spot the signs of them please visit the Modern Slavery national charity Unseen.

Modern Slavery Network 

The Modern Slavery Network was re-launched by the PCC in May 2023 to help tackle the issue of slavery and trafficking.

Taking action on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking graphic

It brings partners and agencies to work closer together with a focus on combatting Modern Slavery and putting effective interventions in place to protect potential victims across the region.

Led by Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Jeanie Bell, the Network has been brought together to provide their insight and expertise on the issue of modern-day slavery, with a focus on identifying emerging themes to help prevent more people falling prey to the criminal gangs who seek to enslave the vulnerable.

Modern Slavery Delivery Plan

In January 2024, Emily Spurrell launched the regions Modern Slavery Network Delivery Plan, setting out 16 clear and achievable actions to combat Modern Slavery and exploitation.

Focussing on redoubling the efforts to tackle the issue and improve the support provided to victims of exploitation, the new strategy will shape how all organisations across Merseyside work to tackle slavery and trafficking.

PCC Emily Spurrell talking to a room of partners

“Modern Slavery devastates lives and communities, and we must work together to end exploitation and protect innocent victims from a lifetime of fear and intimidation.
“This abhorrent crime cannot be tackled by any one agency or organisation; we must respond collectively with meaningful action if we are to make positive change across Merseyside.
“That’s why it was great to have so much collective input from our partners during the consultation and it’s clear there a genuine commitment from all the agencies in the Network to stopping those who seek to exploit and manipulate the vulnerable for their own gain.”

                                                                    Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell


Find out more on the work to tackle Modern Slavery and take a look at the Delivery Plan 2024-2028