The City of London Police’s week of activity took place from 28 January to 1 February. A number of construction sites were visited during the course of the week. Officers engaged with construction workers to raise awareness about the latters’ rights and entitlements as part of the National Crime Agency’s campaign to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.
During the ‘Week of Action’, the the officers visited ten construction sites across the Square Mile. During these visits, officers engaged with staff and provided them with leaflets to raise awareness of what constitutes modern slavery, how to spot the signs and how to access help. They also undertook safeguarding and welfare checks on the workers there and made sure they felt confident in reporting any wrongdoing or concerns to the police.
Modern slavery is the term used to define crimes which cover holding a person in a position of slavery, servitude or forced compulsory labour, or facilitating their travel with the intention of exploiting them afterwards. Although human trafficking often involves an international cross-border element, it’s also possible for an individual to be a victim of modern slavery in their own country.
The need for building strong connections with the construction industry was highlighted to be important after it was identified that there were cases nationwide of people being exploited by gangs and put to work on construction sites.
Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels from the City of London Police said: “The City of London Police is working hard to understand the scale of the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, and we’re doing so alongside other law enforcement partners such as the National Crime Agency. While we don’t believe that there’s a significant problem with these issues in the City, we’re determined to raise awareness among our communities of being able to spot the signs of modern slavery and human trafficking. We urge anyone who has any suspicions to contact us by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, people can volunteer information anonymously via Crimestoppers.”