On the 8th February 2020, FWW sponsored a training morning run by the Vulnerability and Exploitation Team of West Mercia Police. The event was well attended with people coming from various churches, the Mothers’ Union, the Soroptimists and others interested in this important topic.

The morning covered a wide range of connected subjects which can each lead to exploitation. We looked at vulnerability and adverse childhood experiences; the abuse of social media; organised crimes and gangs; modern day slavery; pornography, consent & abuse; child sexual exploitation; criminal exploitation and county lines.

The following graphic provided by the Modern Day Slavery Police Transformation Unit, MSPTU illustrates the multifaceted nature of modern day slavery.

Modern day slavery graphic by MSPTU

The following information has been taken from the West Mercia Police website:

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It covers a wide range of abuse and exploitation including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting.

Victims of modern slavery can be any age, gender, nationality and ethnicity. They are tricked or threatened into work and may feel unable to leave or report the crime through fear or intimidation. They may not recognise themselves as a victim.


Modern slavery could be happening in your community so it’s important you know the signs that could indicate someone is a victim of this crime.

The signs aren’t always obvious but there are some that you may notice: 

  • do they look scruffy, malnourished or injured?
  • are they acting anxious, afraid or unable to make eye contact?
  • are they doing long hours, wearing unsuitable clothing or have the wrong equipment for the job?
  • is where they are living overcrowded, poorly maintained or are the curtains always closed?
  • do they behave like they’re being instructed by someone else, picked up/dropped off at the same time and place every day or don’t have access to money or identification?

Report it

Communities have an important role to play in recognising abuse. If you recognise any of the above signs and suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, tell someone. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.

To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can also report it to us online or call us on 101 at any time to report an incident. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.

Should you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Always call 999 if there is a crime in action or immediate threat to life. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.

Further advice and support

Modern Slavery HelplineExternal Link 

Information and advice on modern slavery.

The Salvation ArmyExternal Link

Immediate and intensive support to ensure victims of trafficking are given the best possible chance of recovery.

Migrant HelpExternal Link

Support services for adult victims of human trafficking.   

Eaves’ Poppy ProjectExternal Link

Support, advocacy and accommodation for trafficked women.

KalayaanExternal Link

Advice, advocacy and support services for migrant domestic workers.

Medaille TrustExternal Link

Helps women, young men and children who have been freed from human trafficking.

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