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A series of pop up events are being held across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland this week to raise awareness of modern slavery.
A series of pop up events are being held across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland this week to raise awareness of modern slavery and promote the support that is available for victims.
The events are being run by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Modern Day Slavery Action Group (LLRMSAG) which is supported by a range of partners including the police, local councils, De Montfort University, Next and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Friday 18 October is also Anti-Slavery Day across the country.
Earlier this year Leicestershire Police in collaboration with LLRMSAG launched a new campaign called ‘know the signs’ to raise awareness about slavery which is an under reported issue. The issue involves a wide range of partners who are also involved in spotting the signs and helping people get out.
It is estimated that at any given time, there are 40.3 million modern slavery victims worldwide.
The force is also releasing a video detailing a common theme of modern slavery victims.
Detective Inspector, Jenni Heggs, said: “Modern Slavery is a horrible crime that preys on the most vulnerable members of our society. It can affect people’s lives not just in the present moment, the effects can last for years.
“We are continuing to share our message around knowing and noticing the five key signs of modern slavery: long hours, chaperoning, malnutrition, abuse and a lack of personal possessions.
“We will be holding a series of pop up events around the city and county, raising awareness and helping victims of this type of crime. The public cannot underestimate the role they can play in helping us convict people who treat others so appallingly.”
The Coordinator for LLRMSAG Laura Pajon said: "We have organised these pop-up events because we want members of the public to understand this is a crime happening here in Leicestershire and Rutland and across the country."
"If we want to disrupt modern slavery and, ultimately, safeguard victims of trafficking, members of the public and professionals need to know the signs and, most importantly, where to call if they want to report a crime, seek for further advice or ask for help."
Lord Willy Bach, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire, said: “This insidious exploitation of some of the most vulnerable members of our society is unacceptable in a civilised society. It’s a sad fact that many of the victims are too scared to come forward and report what is happening to them, even if they have opportunity. Sadder still that some victims do not even understand that this is not a normal way to live.
“This is why it is so important that we raise awareness of the signs to watch out for and that we encourage people with concerns to come forward. I ask anyone who suspects that someone is being exploited in this way to contact the police or the helpline. We all have a responsibility.”
If you notice the signs in yourself or others around you then please get in touch by contacting the Modern Slavery helpline on 0800 121 700 or by reporting online at https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/report.
Find your nearest pop up event below: