A GROUP of five people have been arrested in Milford Haven this morning (May 17) in relation to modern day slavery.
The persons were arrested on gangmaster offences in a joint operation between Dyfed-Powys Police, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.
Today is Dyfed-Powys Police’s Force Day of Action, which has a focus on tackling individuals and groups who take advantage of those who are most vulnerable to exploitation.
A police spokesperson said: “Police in Milford Haven have this morning executed warrants at addresses in Milford Haven linked to modern day slavery. This is a multi-agency operation between Dyfed-Powys Police, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and Pembrokeshire County Council.
“As a result of the warrants, 5 people have been arrested on suspicion of gangmaster offences, and have been conveyed to police custody.”
Superintendent Ian John, BCU Commander for Pembrokeshire and force lead on today’s activity, said: “Abuse of the most vulnerable more often than not takes place behind closed doors or in dark corners. Today is about shining a light on those spaces and raising awareness of the tell-tale signs.
“We are running multiagency operations across the force to raise awareness of the signs that might suggest someone is being exploited and, are confronting head on those who are known to be offending.
“If you know about it, report it. The exploitation of the most vulnerable cannot be tackled by us and our partners alone. Our communities have a big part to play in this.
“We police the safest towns and villages across England and Wales, but we know that that means little to those who are living with the misery, torment and pain of criminal exploitation day-in day-out. We need to hear from you if you are suffering. We also need you to tell us if you suspect that others are being taken advantage of.”
There are a number of signs that can help identify victims of trafficking:
- Not having a passport or other means of identification
- They are withdrawn and refuse to talk to, or appear afraid to talk, a person in authority
- They are unable, or reluctant to give details of accommodation or other personal details
- They work in various locations
- Having limited freedom of movement
- They perform excessive housework chores and rarely leaves the residence
- They have low or no salary or are permanently deprived of a large part of their earnings by another person
- Being escorted whenever they go and or return from work and other activities
- They work long hours or have few/no days off
- They sleep where they work
- They have no privacy, sleeping in shared and over-crowded spaces
- Security measures are in place to keep them at the work place, for example locked doors and windows
- They are not dressed properly for the work they do, for example they don’t have protective equipment or warm clothes.
If you suspect slavery is happening near you please report it to police on 101, in an emergency always dial 999 or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 012 1700.