Slough’s ‘modern slaves are British’ – shock revelation

The majority of modern slavery victims discovered in Slough in the first half of this year have been British.

The shock revelation kills the often held notion that ‘slaves’ are all trafficked from abroad.

Between January and July this year 27 people the the borough were identified as being taken advantage of and could potentially be considered as modern day slaves.

The age range of people identified to the National Referral Mechanism for assessment was between 15 and 43 years old and originating from 11 different countries – however,  the nationality represented most was British.

The types of exploitation people in Slough were involved in included sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and forced criminality.

Other examples of modern slavery can be linked to involvement in selling drugs and county lines activity. Others may have experienced cuckooing which is when a property is taken over by people using or selling drugs.

Josie Wragg, Slough Borough Council’s chief executive and chair of the Safer Slough Partnership, said: “Sadly people are still being exploited and they are suffering.

“The pandemic may have made it even harder for this serious issue to be detected but it is as serious as ever and people still need our help.

“Police rely on members of the public to remain vigilant and assist in spotting the signs of modern slavery and exploitation.

“Modern slavery is actually much closer then many people think.”

The annual anti-slavery day is used to remind people about the signs of modern slavery and exploitation.

Slough residents can help the fight against modern slavery by paying attention to possible signs in the community like a worker who looks scruffy and malnourished, appears to be living on site or has incorrect clothing or equipment for the job.

It may be a person who has a the lack of belongings and money, is not allowed to speak for themselves or is not in control of their passport or bank accounts. 

Other signs can be found at unseenuk.org.

Suspicions can be reported anonymously to the 24/7 Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 where translation services are also available. Reports can also be made to 101 or 999 in an emergency.

 

Slough Observer | News