To mark national anti-slavery day (18th October), The Safer Slough Partnership is launching a hard-hitting campaign to raise awareness of modern slavery.
Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Victims are trapped in servitude, which they were deceived or coerced into and they feel they cannot leave.
Modern slavery includes sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude, it happens across the world and UK. It is also happening in Slough.
In Slough there have been more than 20 reported cases of modern slavery since January 2018. Members of the Safer Slough Partnership, believe this is ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ and that there are many more instances which haven’t been reported.
The campaign will feature on buses and bus shelters across the town and will also go out on the social media channels of the partnership’s members, with the aim to inform residents that this could be happening on their doorstep.
There are five questions which may indicate that someone is a victim of modern slavery. These are:
• Are you living the life you expected to live before coming here?
• Does someone have control of your identity documents or passport and bank card?
• If you wanted to leave your job or accommodation, would someone stop you?
• Have you ever been threatened if you do not do as you are told?
• Are you able to make contact with your family and friends when you want?
It is hoped that as a result of this awareness campaign, more people will come forward and report any instances of modern slavery by calling the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.
Cllr Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for consumer protection and regulation, said: “No-one should live a life feeling scared, intimated and trapped at the hands of someone else. However the reality is that modern slavery is happening across the country and here in Slough.
“This is why we want to raise awareness and encourage residents to report any instances they may be aware of to.”
Garry Tallett, community safety partnership manager, said: “One of the purposes of The Safer Slough Partnership is to bring together resources and expertise from a range of organisations across Slough and work on issues affecting our town jointly.
“Modern Slavery is one issue that affects all our organisations, so we wanted to collectively raise awareness and encourage victims to come forward as well as members of the public to report this type of abuse.
“Modern slavery is closer than you think, however lots of it goes on behind closed doors, if you suspect someone may be a victim, I would urge you to call the modern slavery helpline.”