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Coronavirus restrictions are making it harder to spot victims of modern-day slavery. Picture: Eric Ward

Humberside Police launches modern-day slavery task force

A task force to tackle modern-day slavery and human trafficking has been set up by Humberside Police.

The Operation Wilberforce task force, made up of a dedicated team of specialist officers, will respond quickly to allegations of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.

The team will also provide training, support and guidance to colleagues, strengthening the force’s knowledge in this area.

It comes as coronavirus restrictions make it harder to spot victims of modern-day slavery.

Detective Chief Inspector Christine Calvert, modern-day slavery lead at Humberside Police, said: “Although you may not see it, modern-day slavery exists in the Humberside Police area and often goes unnoticed in our local communities. Sadly, it’s happening all around us in places we might usually visit, but it goes unnoticed.

“From the local hand car wash, a nail bar or even your village takeaway – slavery and trafficking is a growing cause for concern across the entire Humber region.”

The three most common forms of modern-day slavery in the region are forced labour, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude.

The specialist team will work with partners including Hull City Council plus charities and organisations in education, health and businesses to raise awareness and gather intelligence.

Read more about the task force here.

Anyone who suspects modern-day slavery or has concerns about a vulnerable person should call 101, the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 121 700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555.

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