Officers undertake joint operation to help tackle modern slavery in Frodsham
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Officers were out in force last week as part of a partnership operation to protect those who could be at risk of modern slavery.
On Friday 17 January nine officers from Chester Local Policing Unit (LPU) and 10 Home Office immigration officers visited a number of restaurants in Frodsham town centre.
The premises were thoroughly checked to ensure that they are adhering to all aspects of employment and immigration laws.
The day-long operation identified one failed asylum seeker, who was arrested and passed to the immigration services.
A number of other issues were also identified by the immigration officers, which will be dealt with over the coming weeks.
Sergeant John Tinn, of Chester LPU, said: “We regularly undertake these operations to identify those who may be at risk of modern slavery and ensure that all businesses are adhering to the law.
“Working alongside our partner agencies we were able to engage with those working at the restaurants and offer advice and support when required.
“While no specific cases of modern slavery were identified on this occasion, it did result in the arrest of one failed asylum seeker.
“Modern slavery is a crime hidden within our communities, with victims suffering in silence, often feeling alone and terrified.
“While we work with our partners to identify and safeguard victims, the public can play their part too by learning how to spot common signs of modern slavery.”
Inspector Emma Parry added: “This is a great example of partnership work and I would like to thank all of the officers who took part in the operation, along with our colleagues at the Immigration Service.
“Modern Slavery often goes unnoticed so it’s vital that we do all we can to raise awareness of the issue to help protect other potential victims.”
Information from the community, no matter how small, plays a vital part in tackling modern slavery.
Here are some of the common signs that may indicate that someone could be a victim:
Appearance: Victims may show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished or unkempt or appear withdrawn.
Isolation: Victims may rarely be allowed to travel on their own, seem under the control/influence of others, rarely interact or appear unfamiliar with their neighbourhood or where they work.
Poor living conditions: Victims may be living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation, and may be working at the same address.
Few or no personal effects: Victims may have no identification documents, have few personal possessions and wear the same clothes day in, day out. The clothes they do wear may not be suitable for their work.
Unusual travel times: They may be dropped off/collected for work on a regular basis, either very early in the morning or late at night.
Reluctant to seek help: Victims may avoid eye contact, appear frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers and fear law enforcers for many reasons, such as not knowing who to trust or where to get help and fear of deportation.
If you see something suspicious call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.