Weeks of Action Targeting Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Working in partnership with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Europol, officers from Thames Valley Police identified a number of potential victims of modern slavery following three weeks of activity focusing on massage parlours under Project Aidant, an NCA-led law-enforcement response.
The activity took place between 22 August and 9 September as part of a Europe-wide operation, involving partners from Immigration Enforcement and local councils. The project aims to enhance and develop our knowledge of modern slavery linked to massage parlours, focusing specifically on adults or children (under 18) who have been trafficked to the UK, or exploited in the UK.
During this Project Aidant, officers visited 57 premises across the Thames Valley and encountered over 50 people who were spoken to about Modern Slavery and given advice. Of those people, 5 were identified as potential victims and safeguarded.
Chief Superintendent Jim Weems, Head of Force Intelligence and Specialist Operations, said: “Working in partnership with Immigration and local council teams, Project Aidant created significant intelligence and identified vulnerable individuals, for whom safeguarding has been put in place to ensure that they are no longer at risk of modern slavery and human trafficking.
“Modern slavery and human trafficking is absolutely abhorrent, and Thames Valley Police remain committed to ensuring that any such offences are investigated thoroughly and offenders brought to justice.
“We remain committed to ensuring the safety of vulnerable people, and would always urge the public to contact us if they have any information that could help us to safeguard anybody at risk of such offences.”
Concerns around modern slavery can be reported to the Modern Slavery Helpline.
If you think you are, or have been, a victim of modern slavery there are organisations that can help including our Victims First Specialist Service which incorporates specialist skills and knowledge on exploitation and modern slavery. They can provide practical and emotional support, tailored to meet your individual needs, to help you cope with the effects of the crime. If you feel that you need this support please contact Victims First by calling 0300 1234 148 or by getting in touch online by completing an online referral form or using our live chat www.victims-first.org.uk/get-support-now/
“You can also report to us online or by calling 101, or for 100% anonymity, by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.