More than 100 victims of modern slavery rescued in Cambridgeshire

  • Hear Becky Jago talking to Detective Sergeant Chris Acourt from Cambridgeshire Police

More than a hundred victims of modern slavery were rescued across Cambridgeshire in the last year, 71 of them children.

The figures were relased as Anti-Slavery Day is marked today. They show 137 people were referred to a national scheme to help victims of modern slavery.

The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) is a Government scheme which helps potential victims of modern slavery by ensuring they receive appropriate support.

Modern slavery can take many forms, including forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and criminal exploitation.

Many of the child victims are trapped in the dark world of county lines drug dealing.

These children are coerced into selling drugs for older dealers with a promise of a better life, but become trapped in extremely dangerous situations and are often subject to threats or intimidation. Signs of modern slavery include people:

  • Seeming overly tired, withdrawn or avoiding eye contact

  • Of school age being in the community and not education

  • Not having suitable equipment or clothing for the job they are doing

  • Looking unkempt or showing signs of physical abuse

  • Not being able to come and go as they wish

  • Being unpaid or paid very little

  • Working excessively long or unusual hours

Police say slavery is not something consigned to history and often people trapped don't recognise that they are victims.