Modern slavery in United Kingdom more prevalent than previously thought

Modern slavery in United Kingdom more prevalent than previously thought”

Earlier this year, the NCA released figures which showed the number of suspected victims of slavery and human trafficking had more than doubled in three years.

"The growing body of evidence we are collecting points to the scale being far larger than anyone had previously thought".

Linkedactivity also took place on mainland Europe resulting in around 40 further arrests and the launch of 25 further investigations.

The NCA released figures on Thursday showing there are now more than 300 live policing operations targeting modern slavery in the United Kingdom, with cases affecting "every large town and city in the country".

Mr Kerr said: "We have been shocked by the scale of what we have seen".

Mr Kerr said criminal charges were pending against those involved in the case.

With that in mind the agency is launching a campaign to raise public awareness of modern slavery.

"As you go about your normal daily life and as you're engaged in a legitimate economy accessing goods and services, there is a growing and a good chance you will come across a victim who has been exploited in one of those different sectors", he said.

Anyone with information about possible slavery gangs is asked to contact the NCA on 08000 121 700.

"The anti-slavery commission has been calling for improvement on data gathering for years".

"Some victims are in slavery and aren't approaching the NRM because they don't believe it will help them".

"But what we do know though is that the information and tools we now use to disrupt these gangs and identify offenders we are going to need after Brexit as well".

A report published by the Work and Pensions Committee in April found recording of data collected by the NRM was "generally substandard", and accused the mechanism of being "nothing but a piece of paper" to victims. "Local police forces across the country need to be trained to spot the signs, and victims need to know that they'll be fully supported and protected if they come forward". If they do, we need the public to speak to us. Authorities must stop prioritising immigration control targets over the safety of victims, which leaves scores of the children we work with vulnerable to missing, re-trafficking and deportation.

The NCA said the growth in modern slavery was being driven by global gangs increasingly recognising the amount of money they could make by controlling people within a huge range of economic sectors, rather than just dealing drugs.

Diane Abbott MP, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary, said: "The criticisms of the National Crime Agency's failure to tackle slavery are very serious".

"We have personal responsibility and we have a church responsibility".

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