Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The term Modern Slavery is an umbrella term, encompassing human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced labour. Traffickers and slave drivers coerce, deceive and force individuals against their will into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. A large number of active organised crime groups are involved in modern slavery. But it is also committed by individual opportunistic perpetrators.

In 2019, 10,627 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the Home Office; a 52% increase from 2018.

In the London Borough of Bexley, we are committed to the opposition of modern slavery and human trafficking and are working with our partners to drive the identification, recognition, raising of awareness and disruption of this heinous crime. The London Borough of Bexley’s Modern Slavery Strategy and Toolkit set out our local partnership approach (including referral pathways) and is available to read on request to the Community Safety team via email to community.safety@bexley.gov.uk

As a local authority, we have a duty to notify the Home Office of any individual encountered who we believe is a suspected victim of modern slavery or human trafficking.

What can I do?

We can all help end modern slavery by being aware of what to look. Signs that someone might be a victim of modern slavery include:

  • showing signs of injury, abuse and malnourishment
  • they look unkempt, are often in the same clothing and have poor hygiene
  • appearing to be under the control and influence of others
  • living in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
  • they have no access or control of their passport or identity documents
  • appearing scared, avoiding eye contact and being untrusting
  • they may allow others to speak for them when addressed directly, rather than speak for themselves
  • they’re collected very early and/or returned late at night on a regular basis
  • may have inappropriate clothing for the work they are performing, and/or a lack of safety equipment
  • may be isolated from the local community and their family
  • they travel only with other workers.

The above list is not exhaustive and further information on the signs to look out for can be found in Chapter 3 of the statutory guidance.

If you are a victim or know someone who might be:

  • call the Modern Slavery Helpline free on 0800 0121 700 or visit the Modern Slavery Helpline website for more information.
  • in an emergency always call 999

The UK Modern Slavery Helpline is available 24/7 to offer confidential advice and support for any victim, statutory agency, business, or member of the public regarding modern slavery suspicions or concerns. Trained Helpline Advisers are available to discuss potential signs of modern slavery and options for callers or victims in need.

For professionals seeking latest advice on how to help potential victims:

For the latest advice on how to end modern slavery, including details about how to refer victims into the national referral mechanism (NRM) and the statutory guidance, please see the Government’s Modern Slavery website.