Over the last few months, local policing, specialised human trafficking and Home Office Immigration teams have teamed up to offer a multi-agency approach to target modern slavery in the Merseyside area and protect those at risk.
In a week of action, which ran from the 29th January – 4th February, officers visited a number of local shops and businesses on the lookout for potential victims of this type of crime.
Although most of these visits have resulted in no concerns, we hope this communication raises awareness in the local community and encourages people to come forward if they suspect something.
Chief Inspector Nick Gunatilleke said: “We know victims of modern slavery are often sadly hidden in plain sight.
“Having regular contact with our local businesses and wider community gives us the means necessary to investigate these crimes, support victims and reassure the public that we will not stand for this crime.
"We take the issue of human trafficking and modern slavery extremely seriously and building strong relationships with local businesses and their employees is key to establish where these crimes could be taking place.
“Offenders involved in human trafficking prey on extremely vulnerable people. They have often come from a foreign country where security services are not regarded as being either caring or honest. We want to change that.
“By offering the support they so desperately need, a platform to report crime and a friendly and trustworthy service, we hope this encourages victims to speak to us openly.
"Modern slavery takes many forms but some of the most common are sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude.
"Of the tens of thousands of people who are thought to be trafficked in and out of the country every year, only a small proportion of these cases are brought to our attention. Therefore, we will do everything we can to identify and support those at risk and bring offenders to justice."
If you suspect suspicious behaviour, please report to our social media desk @MerPolCC or call 101.