Modern slavery includes human trafficking, slavery, servitude and forced labour and perpetrating these crimes can be very profitable. Victims can be male and female, adults and children, foreign and UK nationals. They tend to be from some of the most marginalised and vulnerable sections of society and those least likely to have routes to reporting. While we don’t know the exact scale of the problem in the UK – and in Brighton & Hove information is very limited – we know that the harm done to individual victims is very serious and can include physical and mental ill health, injuries, malnutrition, sexually transmitted diseases and post traumatic stress disorder, as well as harm to the trafficked person’s families.
Our geographical proximity to Gatwick airport, as well as access points on the coast may make modern slavery crimes linked to organised immigration more likely. Local intelligence and operational activity has found examples of labour and sexual exploitation and there are concerns that members of the street population, especially those with mental health or substance misuse problems may be particularly at risk.