Human trafficking campaign alert over slavery signs

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Media captionA checklist of warning signs will be handed to passengers at Holyhead port

Modern-day slavery can be tackled if people spot the warning signs, according to a new campaign against human trafficking in north Wales.

Police, ferry companies and charities are among more than 40 organisations involved in what they claim is the first project of its kind in the UK.

A checklist of warning signs will be handed to passengers at Holyhead port on Friday to raise public awareness.

Co-ordinator Jim Coy said the aim was to make Wales "hostile" to trafficking.

He said the general public can help the authorities catch the culprits through spotting signs that could indicate sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and other forms of abuse.

"There are a whole gamut of ways in which people are exploited - we want people to start thinking about it," he said.

"If a person doesn't look right in the company of other people, bring it to the attention of the authorities and we'll do the rest."

The UK government has introduced a Modern Slavery Bill to reinforce efforts to tackle the problem.

Tell-tale signs

A leaflet called Stop the Traffik asks people to be alert to a number of signs in others including the following:

  • A lack of self-esteem
  • Acting as if instructed by another
  • Injured or in need of medical care
  • Distrustful of authorities
  • Fearful and poorly integrated into the local community
  • Living in overcrowded accommodation
  • Lacking suitable clothing for their job
  • Picked up by a minibus at unusual hours

Det Supt Mark Pierce, lead officer on modern slavery for North Wales Police, said: "Human trafficking in whatever form has a devastating effect on the victims, some of whom are so vulnerable that they are unaware of being exploited.

"The eyes and ears of everyone in the community are the most effective weapon against this criminality."

People suspicious of activity which could indicate slavery are asked to contact the police on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or the anti-slavery hotline on 0800 0121 700.

Image copyright North Wales Anti-Human Trafficking Project
Image caption Posters will be on display at the port of Holyhead

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