Lincolnshire Police are supporting anti-slavery day today (Sunday) and beginning a week of initiatives to raise awareness of the issue.
It is the fifth annual day, created by Act of Parliament and becoming law in 2010 - the day aims to highlight how to spot the signs and ‘inspire people to eliminate it’.
The police’s East Midlands lead for tackling modern slavery Deputy Chief Constable Heather Roach said: “There is a widespread lack of public understanding of the problem and of its manifestations.
“Trafficking is multi-faceted and by its very nature, a hidden crime.
“Those people working to help and protect its victims - whether police or partners must rely on a degree of public awareness to alert them to potential trafficking victims.”
The second piece of anti-slavery legislation in 200 years, the Moden Slavery Bill, was given the royal assent in March, and gives law enforcement the tools to fight modern slavery, ensure perpetrators can receive suitably severe punishments for these appalling crimes and enhance support and protection for victims.
A statement by Lincolnshire Police said “Slavery and human trafficking can take many forms, ranging from the sexual exploitation of adults and children, to forced labour and domestic servitude. Sadly, it is far more widespread in the UK and other developed nations than many of us realise.”
This week, from tomorrow (Monday, October 19) until Friday Lincolnshire Police will be taking part in a number of events and initiatives including working with partners such as schools and local employers.
Deputy Chief Constable Roach said “As we have seen in Lincolnshire through various investigations, offences of Modern Slavery are not immediately apparent to a casual observer but have dire consequences for victims.
“I want local people and communities to get behind this initiative and make Lincolnshire, and indeed the rest of the country, a place where Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking is not tolerated.”
To report information call Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700, Lincolnshire Police non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.