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Human Trafficking / Modern Slavery


Answer

'County lines' is a term used to describe networks of gangs and organised crime groups, who use children, young people and vulnerable adults to carry out illegal activity on their behalf.

This criminal exploitation is known as 'county lines' as young children travel across counties and use dedicated mobile phone 'lines' to supply drugs.

As well as the storage and supply of drugs, gangs also use children for the movement of cash proceeds (money mules) and to secure the use of dwellings (commonly referred to as 'cuckooing').

Criminal gangs groom children into trafficking their drugs for them with promises of money, friendship and status. Once they've been drawn in, children are often controlled using threats, violence and sexual abuse. These children can then become trapped in criminal exploitation and feel as if they have no choice but to continue doing what the criminals want.

What are signs of criminal exploitation and county lines?

  • Unexplained absences from school, college, training or work.
  • Going missing from home, staying out late and travelling for unexplained reasons.
  • In a relationship or hanging out with someone older than them.
  • Being angry, aggressive or violent.
  • Being isolated or withdrawn.
  • Having unexplained money and buying new things.
  • Wearing clothes or accessories in gang colours or getting tattoos.
  • Using new slang words.
  • Spending more time on social media and being secretive about time online.
  • Unexplained injuries.
  • Carrying weapons.
  • Making more calls or sending more texts, possibly on a new phone or phones.
  • Taking drugs / abusing alcohol.
  • Having hotel cards or keys to unknown places.

The police work collaboratively with other forces and regional organised crime units to build intelligence, tackle the demand for drugs, ensure disruption of county lines activity, protect the vulnerable and carry out enforcement activity.

What to do if you have concerns

  • If you have information you wish to share with the police, contact your local police force.
  • If you believe a young person you know could be in immediate danger, call 999.
  • If you are a young person who is worried about your involvement, or a friend's involvement in county lines, it is a good option to speak to a family member or trusted adult about your concerns.


Answer

Modern slavery is considered a serious crime in the UK. It can take many forms, including human trafficking, forced labour, servitude, slavery, sexual exploitation and criminal exploitation. The following are examples of modern slavery:

  • Being forced to work and being paid very little, in particular below the minimum wage.
  • Being forced to work long hours doing physical labour.
  • Being controlled through fear, mental abuse and repeated physical violence.
  • Being forced to commit crimes.
  • Being sexually exploited.
  • Being exploited by a partner, relatives or other persons.
  • Being forced to marry without consent.
  • Having a passport taken away from you.
  • Being brought to the UK to work and/or being moved to different parts of the country on a regular basis.

If you know someone who you believe may be a victim of modern slavery, or you feel you may be a victim yourself, you should report the abuse to your local police force.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Helpline on 0300 303 8151 for assistance.


Answer

Human trafficking is an element of modern slavery. It is the recruitment, movement or receipt of a person, by deception or coercion, into a situation of exploitation. For example, a person may be told that they can come to the UK to work legally, but then upon arriving in the UK, be forced to work as a domestic servant or labourer, with threats of violence if they refuse.

Although human trafficking often involves an international cross-border element, it is also possible to be a victim of modern slavery within your own country. It is also possible to be a victim even if consent has been given to be moved.

Human trafficking involves the exploitation of people, for example:

  • Sexual exploitation.
  • Forced labour.
  • Domestic servitude.
  • Organ harvesting.
  • Child related crimes such as child sexual exploitation.
  • Forced begging.
  • Organised theft.
  • Forced marriage and illegal adoption.

There are many signs that a person may be a victim of human trafficking, including:

  • Being accompanied by someone who appears controlling
  • Being withdrawn and submissive.
  • Seeming afraid to speak to a person in authority and having an accompanying person speak for them.
  • Giving vague and inconsistent explanations of where they live, their employment or schooling.
  • Having old or serious injuries left untreated and showing signs of general physical neglect.
  • Appearing to be moving location frequently.
  • Struggling to speak English.
  • Having no official means of identification or suspicious looking documents.

In relation to children, additional signs may include:

  • Having an unclear relationship with an accompanying adult.
  • Going missing quickly and repeatedly from school, home and care.
  • Giving inconsistent information about their age.

If you know someone who you believe may be a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking, or you feel you may be a victim yourself, you should report the abuse to your local police force.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Helpline on 0300 303 8151 for assistance.


Answer

If you have been made to commit an offence as a direct consequence of your situation (i.e. due to slavery or exploitation), there is a strong presumption that you will not be prosecuted and you will be provided with support and referred to the appropriate agencies for help.

If you know someone who you believe may be a victim of modern slavery, or you feel you may be a victim yourself, you should report the abuse to your local police force.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or the Salvation Army Modern Slavery Human Trafficking Helpline on 0300 303 8151 for assistance.

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