PCC joins forces with national helpline to raise awareness of Modern Slavery


Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has united with a national helpline to raise awareness of the signs of Modern Slavery and exploitation and encourage people across the region to report any concerns they have about slavery happening in their communities.

The helpline, part of the national anti-slavery charity Unseen, provides information, advice, and guidance about modern slavery issues to the public, businesses and potential victims and survivors.

The campaign aims to increase understanding on what modern slavery is, educate the public on how to spot the warning signs of those being exploited and ensure they know how to report their concerns.

Delivered with funding provided by the Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, the campaign is part of a series of measures to tackle the issue of slavery and trafficking and improve the support provided to victims across the region.

In May, Emily relaunched the Modern Slavery Network, bringing partners and agencies together with a focus on combatting Modern Slavery and putting effective interventions in place to protect potential victims across the region.

This work is an integral part of the PCC’s work to deliver on her Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy launched last year.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “It’s estimated that globally, almost 50 million people are living as slaves today. In the UK alone there are estimated to be more than 100,000 victims silently hidden in everyday places like car washes, brothels, nail bars and restaurants.

“Modern Slavery is real and it’s happening in our neighbourhoods.

“Awareness and understanding has been gradually on the rise, but it isn’t enough. We need to do more to stop this horrific crime from happening and provide support to the services that are helping victims and survivors every single day.

“I encourage everyone to learn how to spot the signs of exploitation, doing so could help save an innocent victims life from years of emotional, physical and financial suffering. Even if you’re unsure, the helpline provides confidential advice and any information you can provide will help to stamp out slavery for good.”

Led by Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Jeanie Bell, the Modern Slavery Network has been brought together to enable all agencies 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.

The Network will also focus their efforts on improving the response from police and other authorities, supporting victims and survivors as well as producing a region-wide strategy which will be launched towards the end of this year.

Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Jeanie Bell said:It is vital that those who have been subjected to enslavement receive ongoing and sustained care and support to ensure they can cope with the harm they have endured and have the best opportunity to rebuild their lives.

“That’s why it is essential we increase awareness and understanding amongst the public so that more potential victims can be found and receive the support they need, empowering them to forge new lives free from control and ensure those who seek to exploit innocent victims are brought to justice.”

Help stamp out modern slavery and learn how to spot the signs of exploitation here: https://www.unseenuk.org/about-modern-slavery/spot-the-signs/