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The power of intelligence

Women cleaning house unable to leave the home alone

Know the crime

What is modern day slavery?

Modern day slavery is the movement and trade of people of any age, often for the purpose of exploitation. Almost all forms of modern day slavery include some element of forced labour, which is ‘any work or services people are forced to do against their will.

There are many different types of modern slavery which include sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, child exploitation and criminal exploitation.

The power of intelligence

We rely heavily on the public to be our eyes and ears, to be in the places we can’t always be in. Intelligence plays a huge role in our fight to tackle crime; information received from the public could be the missing piece of a puzzle or break-through in a case. Modern day slavery is happening across the UK and we need your help to protect some of society’s most vulnerable people, who all too often don’t have a voice.

Know your info

What is intelligence?

Put simply ‘intelligence’ is information. Also known as ‘Intel’, this type information is usually sent in from members of the public, or gathered by officers and investigative staff.

In the last two years Avon & Somerset police have seen an increase in the number of Intel reports about modern slavery. It’s likely this increase is due to increased media interest in modern slavery at car washes and nail bars. A case we worked on with Staffordshire Police was featured in a BBC Two documentary in August 2018. The Prosecutors saw the successful prosecution of three individuals for including a woman from Bath sentenced in January following the first successful prosecution in the UK for exploitation and enforced child labour, under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act. Whilst the increase in intel is positive, we know that there is much more to be done, as lesser known forms of modern slavery such as domestic servitude or forced criminality are going on unnoticed

Why is intelligence so important?

Intelligence is crucial for the police as we need as much information as possible to get a clear idea of what’s going on, so that we can safeguard individuals and / or prosecute perpetrators wherever possible. Intel could be the missing piece of information that officers need to carry out a safeguarding visit, which could help identify criminal activity and potentially lead to an investigation, and prosecution.

Know the signs

What are the signs?

Not all of victims of modern slavery are aware they’re slaves, working conditions may seem better than what they would receive at home. Criminals are taking advantage of this and this I why it’s important members of the public speak out for them, by telling us what you see you might help free someone enslaved with or without their knowledge. Some of the common signs which might indicate modern slavery is a possibility:

Do you see women being dropped off and collected by one vehicle at strange times?
Do you see a young person begging on the street?
Do you see a young person shop lifting high value items?
Do you see someone responsible for the cleaning of a home / care of children 24 hours a day with no contact with anyone outside of the home?

The above video show indicators of potential modern slavery and we need you to tell us what you’re seeing.

Know how to report

There are a number of ways members of the public can make a report of suspected modern slavery. You can report crime directly to police online or you can fill out a form for free here or call 101 in a non-emergency. If a crime is in progress or in an emergency we’d always recommend you call 999.

If you’d like to remain anonymous you can also make a report via the modern slavery helpline. That can be either be via their website or by calling their number on 08000 121 700. There is also the option to download a free app for your smartphone, which also has some information and indicators to look out in suspected cases of modern slavery.