Expect more stories of slavery – and demand more victim support
If the National Crime Agency’s latest findings are anything to go by, expect many more headlines like this over the next decade: ‘Lincolnshire slavery gang forced man to dig his own grave in ‘truly shocking’ 26-year hard labour ordeal‘.
We are only just starting to hear the stories of Britain’s hidden slaves. Figures released the week before last showed the scale of concern among law enforcement agencies. In May and June alone, 130 potential victims were discovered and 111 arrests were made. Local news outlets from Cambridge to Kirklees have reported an upsurge in slavery-related police activity. Over 300 police operations targeting modern slavery are in action across the UK.
“The more that we look for modern slavery”, said Will Kerr, the NCA’s Director of Vulnerabilities, “the more we find the evidence of the widespread abuse of the vulnerable. The growing body of evidence we are collecting points to the scale being far larger than anyone had previously thought.”