|Our partners in Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit are appealing for the cooperation from Scotland’s communities as they seek any information which could assist them and other partner agencies identify potential victims of exploitation or Human Trafficking thus ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected at this difficult time.
Across the world many countries are in the midst of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic therefore the purpose of this circulation is to work together to protect and safeguard the vulnerable and those most at risk of human exploitation and trafficking. Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit continue their ongoing engagement with key partners to ensure they are actively looking for and responding effectively to any incident or report of exploitation or Human Trafficking however the Unit understands that communities are able to provide valuable information, however minor but which may make all the difference. With restrictions on activity and movement being in place, the Unit recognises there are fewer opportunities for potential victims of human trafficking to be reported to the Police and partner agencies. This raises concerns about reaching out to those who are most vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking as the current situation will see demand increasing for the hiring of labour in the agricultural, delivery, food production and retail sectors. This is why the Unit are asking all of Scotland’s communities to be vigilant to the possibility that people are being exploited and to help them tackle it.
People may see an increase in the following:
· Groups of people waiting to be collected for work or dropped off where this was not previously apparent.
This list is by no means exhaustive and communities will be aware of what goes on within their own areas therefore the Unit actively encourages changes raising concerns or suspicions are reported, anonymously if required. Any information provided will assist Police Scotland and partner agencies identify potential victims of exploitation or Human Trafficking thus ensuring that the most vulnerable are protected.
Please contact the following:
Police Scotland – 101
Modern Slavery Helpline – 0800 121 700 – www.modernslaveryhelpline.org
Crimestoppers (anonymously) – 0800 555 111 – www.crimstoppers-uk.org