Anti-Slavery Week 2016 – Results
Last week Gwent, South Wales, Dyfed Powys and North Wales Police carried out a week of activity for Anti-Slavery Week 2016.
The purpose of the week was to break down the traditional views of slavery, and to make Wales hostile to perpetrators of modern slavery through raising awareness of the issue, identifying offences and supporting victims.
Officers focused on specific areas throughout the week including industries such as: car washes, nail bars, fast food establishments and agriculture, rogue traders, the sex industry and child sexual exploitation.
Education was an important part of the awareness week. Inputs were delivered in local schools and police cadets assisted by distributing thousands of leaflets about anti-slavery and the signs to look out for. Work also included:
In the lead up to the campaign:
On Thursday 26th May 2016
Officers took part in a multi-agency operation at Newport Docks where a number of vehicle offences were dealt with 1 man arrested for non-payment for a fine. He was taken straight to Newport Magistrates where the fine was paid. Other results included:
1 confirmed benefit fraud and 3 suspected cases – the Department of Working Pensions will now deal with these.
5 ships were boarded, inspected and 17 cabins searched with UK Border Agency and Special Branch.
On Saturday 28th May 2016
Offers took part in an enforcement visit to Barber Shop in Newport. 1 man was found to be working with no rights to work in the UK.
During the campaign
On Monday 31st May 2016
Officers along with the Woman’s Advocacy Project – a women’s group who provides information and support – visited women at 3 premises to ensure women were aware of the advice and advocacy services available to those involved in the commercial sex industry that may be at risk of sexual or financial exploitation.
Wednesday 1st June 2016
Blackwood and Risca officers along with, Immigration, Trading Standards and Environmental Health visited 2 nail bars, 5 car washes and 8 fast food restaurants. Within one of the fast food restaurants in Oakdale, 3 men and a woman from the Oakdale were arrested for immigration offences.
Thursday 2nd June and Friday 3rd June 2016
Gwent Officers, along with our partners in immigration visited nail bars, fast food restaurants and car washes throughout Gwent. Immigration carried out checks at various premises, all of which were in order. A large amount of intelligence was also gained throughout the week which is being further developed and investigated.
Detective Superintendent, Leanne Brustad is the Operational Policing Lead on Modern Slavery for Wales said: “The campaigns and activity across Wales will hopefully raise awareness of the offences that are being committed across the world as well as closer to home.
“It is a common misconception that modern slavery is only an issue in other countries, but the reality is that human trafficking victims exist in communities across Wales.
“Victims of these kinds of offences are sometimes unaware that they are victims, or are in fear from those controlling them. Sometimes their fear prevents them from seeking help from the authorities and so I would urge anyone who suspects that someone is being treated in this way to contact 101 or so they can receive the appropriate help and support – You can also report it by calling the new Modern Slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700.”
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