Eagle Radio {%endif%}

Eagle Radio


Step One Finance sponsors Eagle Radio local news

Surrey Police urge residents to look out for hidden cases of modern slavery

3 minute read
Surrey Police urge residents to look out for hidden cases of modern slavery

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:00am 11th January 2020.

Surrey Police is urging residents to look out for hidden cases of modern slavery in the county. 

Today (11th January) is national Human Trafficking Awareness Day which is being supported by the force. 

Modern slavery and trafficking involves exploiting people for personal or commercial gain. 

120 modern slavery offences were recorded in Surrey last year, but Surrey Police believes the real number is much higher. 

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder from Surrey Police told Eagle Radio: 

"That is not a true picture of what's going on. I don't think everybody can recognise modern slavery and also [have] the confidence to report it so I think that that 120 is a misleading figure, I think it's a lot bigger". 

So what are the signs to look out for? 

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder continued: 

"Somebody at school or even younger can be approached by a county line drug dealing team and recruited within that team to carry drugs and the ethos behind that is the police have less powers for somebody under 10 so they're ideal to carry drugs.

"Those people are picked because of their circumstances, whether it be environmental, their family network isn't very good, or the society around them has just led them into that area where they need either that support or that money."

  • Physical or psychological abuse people look malnourished and have poor clothing
  •  Isolation
  • Poor living conditions
  •  Restricted freedom of movement (victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation and/or living and working at the same address)
  •  A person being controlled by another individual
  • Unusual travel times (individuals may be dropped off/collected for work on regular basis either very early or late at night)
  • Reluctant to seek help (victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened)

Residents across the county are also urged to look out for working conditions in places such as nail bars and car washes which only take cash. 

Police warn it is very rare for a business to only accept cash and this could be a sign of modern slavery. 

Anyone who believes they have seen signs of human trafficking or modern slavery is urged to contact police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) or Crimestoppers on 0800555111, which is anonymous.