Tuesday, 15 October 2013

“Slavery Has No Place In Modern Day Britain”, Says Commissioner

Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright, has highlighted multi-agency action in Fenland as an example of how exploitation will not be tolerated in Cambridgeshire.

Sir Graham has spoken ahead of Friday’s Anti-Slavery Day to highlight the problem of human trafficking and exploitation in modern day Britain.

The initiative in Fenland involved setting up a special taskforce to tackle the exploitation of migrants in the area by rogue landlords and unlicensed gangmasters. This culminated earlier today in nine arrests at properties in the area, involving around 300 police and partner agency officers and staff. To date, more than 80 victims have been identified in Cambridgeshire alone, though there is evidence to suggest that this is a country-wide issue.

Sir Graham said: “Slavery is a word we usually consign to the annals of history, it’s not something you think can happen in modern day Britain. But every day people are discovered living in appalling conditions – substandard overcrowded and dangerous accommodation, subjected to threats of violence, trafficking and illegal eviction. The recent action by the police and other agencies shows that we are tackling this problem head on.

“The population has become increasingly diverse and Cambridgeshire, particularly the Fens, is an attractive option for migrant workers wanting to find jobs. There are many reliable, trustworthy and law abiding landlords and licensed gangmasters out there, but those who are seeking to exploit any individual in such demeaning ways have no place in Cambridgeshire.

“The organisation and planning that has gone into the action that has taken place in Fenland is impressive. My thanks and congratulations go out to all officers and staff both from within the Constabulary and partner agencies who have worked together to tackle this serious issue so effectively. This excellent work must continue.”