Reported human trafficking cases in UK surge by 80%: National Crime Agency Report

March 26, 2017 2:35 pm

National Agency (NCA)

Official statistics show the
number of potential human trafficking victims identified in the has
surged by nearly 80 percent in a year, triggering concerns about modern
slavery.

The latest available data from the National
Crime Agency (NCA) goes back to 2015, with 306 cases of trafficking
reported by local councils and over ten-fold that number by other
sources.
Some cities saw a very clear surge in the number of
reported human trafficking victims and greater Manchester experienced a
197 percent increase.
Authorities say labor exploitation is the most common fate of trafficking victims in Britain.
In
spite of the significant increase in the reported cases of abuse, there
are still up to 13,000 victims of human trafficking in the UK.

The number of victims of human trafficking in the UK rose in 2015 (File Photo)The
figures have alarmed Local Government Association (LGA), a group that
represents 370 local councils, calling the situation modern-day slavery
and warning it is a rising threat and a major concern.
LGA has
urged the British public to be more aware of human trafficking in order
to prevent criminal gangs from exploiting vulnerable foreign workers.
“Modern-day
slavery is a rising threat to our communities, and because of its
hidden nature, is a major concern,” Simon Blackburn, the head of the
LGA’s Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said.
Blackburn
encouraged people to look out for “tell-tale signs,” such as large
numbers of people staying in homes and people being taken to and from
the address in vans or minibuses early in the morning and returning late
at night.  
“Tip-offs from communities can help councils
work with partners to better tackle slavery and exploitation. A simple
phone call could make a world of difference to people living wretched
lives at the hands of heartless gang-masters,” Blackburn added.
The
NCA report states that there were victims from 102 different countries,
though Albanian, Vietnamese, and Nigerian nationals were the most
common. People from Sudan make up the fastest growing category of modern
slavery victims.
The main obstacle in dealing with human trafficking is the apparent “hidden nature” of the crime, the report said.
There
have been several high profile stories that made headlines over the
past recent years in Britain, stories that portray migrants in a
negative light. Many of them are desperate and in search of a better
life from countries that many argue Britain has destroyed or
destabilized through war and foreign policy.
One of the most
recent cases of modern slavery was revealed last month, in which 16
women were released from a trafficking ring operating in Glasgow.

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