West Yorkshire Police Marks Anti Slavery Day

Monday, 18 October, 2021

West Yorkshire Police is urging people to continue to help them in the fight of modern slavery and human trafficking.

The Force is marking Anti Slavery Day to draw attention to the crimes and call on the communities of West Yorkshire to play their part in helping rescue victims and bring offenders to justice.

Detective Superintendent Fiona Gaffney leads the Force’s response to the crimes.

“Modern slavery and human trafficking are abhorrent crimes that trade in human misery – they have no place in our society.

“They are also crimes that are often described as ‘hiding in plain sight’ and that is why it is so important that if you see something that is suspicious or seems out of place then please contact us.

“It might be nothing or it might be the final piece in the jigsaw that helps us to save someone from a life of slavery and misery.

“Only by working together – through Programme Precision at a Force level, through districts – and with our key partners and local communities can we make a real difference and that is why days like this are so important. Our work is always ongoing but by highlighting the issue we can make life that bit more difficult for those who choose to profit through someone else’s misery.

“The everyday accounts from victims of what they are subjected to are harrowing.

“Knowledge is power as we look to rescue people and bring people to justice and if people know some of the potential signs to spot they can help change someone’s life for the better.

“Since 2019 up to and including June 2021 we have made 358 referrals to the National Referral Mechanism – 85 (nearly a quarter of those being children) and numbers are increasing.

“There are various resources on our website - Modern slavery / human trafficking | West Yorkshire Police and Modern Slavery Helpline is available on 08000 121700.

“The below is meant as a general guide to help people spot the signs – it is not a definitive list

  • Do the people living in a property appear isolated or secretive?
  • Are there more people who appear to be living in a house than would normally be expected? Are the house windows covered from the inside? 
  • Have you ever noticed anyone taking an excessive amount of bed mattresses into the house?
  • Do the people that live in a property get collected/taken to work early in the morning and returned late at night?
  • Do the people living there appear to be controlled? Are they always accompanied if you see them out and about? Do they avoid eye contact or conversation?
  • If you have spoken to anyone living in the house, do they know who they work for? Are they getting paid an exceptionally low amount of money or had their passports/documentation taken off them? 
  • Do the people living there look malnourished? Are they wearing the same clothes all of the time?
  • Have you noticed anyone who appears to be living in outbuildings, barns, trailers or under any other roofs that arouse your concerns?

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