Modern slavery is real, and it’s happening in our communities.
It is on the rise in Wales. It’s an unseen crime, where the victims can be men, women and children of all ages, and it preys on the most vulnerable.
Due to the hidden nature of slavery and the reluctance or inability of victims to seek help, we may not always realise we’ve come into contact with a victim.
Dyfed-Powys Police is determined to do all it can to tackle modern slavery, and play its part in making Wales hostile to slavery.
As part of this commitment Dyfed-Powys Police hosted the first Modern Day Slavery Investigator course in Wales, in order to ensure that officers have the knowledge and are properly equipped to deal with slavery head on.
Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police, Gwent Police and Border Force have come together for a course delivered by the College of Policing in Carmarthen.
Paul Carroll from the College of Policing Modern Slavery Transformation Unit, delivered the four day course, designed to prepare those in attendance for the role of modern slavery investigator and develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours necessary to understand and deal with it effectively.
Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Evans said:
“We are committed to tackling all forms of exploitation and modern slavery, and were therefore keen to be the first to bring this specialised training to the Southern Wales region, and to share the opportunity with our colleagues in Gwent and Border Force. I’m grateful to DS Dale Scriven and DC Ceri Williams for organising this and ensuring we made it happen as soon as possible.
“To reinforce our victim focussed approach to these crimes, it’s important we have officers who are well versed on the signs of slavery and that they can undertake slavery investigations confidently. Victims are vulnerable people who need help but are frightened, and none of these jobs are easy. During the course they will learn about the international and national profile, relevant offences and common factors associated with slavery.
“We know that men, women and children may be forced into various types of slavery, including forced prostitution, child trafficking, criminal exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour and sexual exploitation. We all have a part to play in helping these vulnerable victims, and I urge anyone who suspects slavery or exploitation to report it to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121700. In an emergency call 999.”
Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Limited family contact
- Physical abuse
- Distrust of authority
- Having no friends
- Acting as if under another’s control
- Appearing malnourished
- Avoiding eye contact
- Unable to speak any English