A free event for business people is being held in March to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking in the workplace.
The breakfast event, hosted by Wiltshire Police, will be held at the Jury’s Inn, Swindon, on March 26.
Guest speakers will include Hilary Agg of the Modern Slavery Helpline, and Shane Tyler, head of operations for a fresh produce supplier, whose former employer was unknowingly using more than 200 illegal workers back in June 2000. The factory was exposed by BBC Panorama, and since then, Mr Tyler has identified and tackled numerous examples of worker exploitation.
Det Sgt Becky Smart has organised the event.
She said: “The event primarily aims to raise awareness of modern slavery and human trafficking and the signs to look out for. Not all businesses, especially small businesses, are aware of the signs of a potential victim and they don’t know how they can report concerns, so we hope this event will help address that.
“Sadly, modern slavery and human trafficking is happening all over the country, and in Wiltshire and Swindon we have a number of large factories and agricultural businesses where it could potentially be an issue, so it is vital that we are warning and informing businesses, and doing all that we can to ensure we bridge the intelligence gap.
“All business people are welcome – managers and their employees – and we will be specifically engaging with some of our local recruitment agencies to ensure they are informed of this event – often recruitment agencies, unless well informed, can be unwittingly embroiled in these activities.”
Signs that someone is a potential victim of modern slavery include:
• Unfamiliar with the English language
• Recently arrived in the UK
• Acts as if someone else is instructing them.
• Someone else speaks for them when they are addressed directly.
• Show signs that their movement is being controlled.
• Unclear what their residential address is Unaware of their employment rights
• Are not in control of a bank account
• Do not have ready access to their Identification documents.
Other indicators include:
• The use of 3rd party bank accounts
• Numerous persons registered at the same address
• The same person offering help to translate and facilitate employment to several persons.
• A person rather than the potential employee appearing to be in control and possession of personal identification documents.
There are currently 50 spaces available on the free breakfast event. Registration is at 9.30am and there will be light breakfast refreshments provided. The opening speech will be from Superintendent Jeremy Carter, who is the lead for modern slavery at Wiltshire Police, and will begin at 10am. The event is expected to last two hours.
If you wish to attend, please register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk and search for the event in Swindon on March 26.