Understanding modern slavery – and how to spot the signs

Slavery in the 21st century is often enforced by threats to the individual, coercion, through mental or physical abuse, or the threat of abuse, abduction, fraud and deception. Modern slavery is an international crime that affects an estimated 29.8 million slaves around the world, with an estimated 13,000 people held in slavery in the UK today. In 2015 there were 3,266 potential victims identified and referred to the National Crime Agency.


Modern slavery takes a number of forms including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and criminal exploitation. Often the person is forced or compelled to work and they are often controlled by an ’employer’, usually through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse, both to them and their families.

Signs that someone might be a victim of modern slavery include:

  • Showing signs of injury, abuse and malnourishment
  • They look unkempt, are often in the same clothing and have poor hygiene
  • Appearing to be under the control and influence of others
  • Living in cramped, dirty, overcrowded accommodation
  • They have no access or control of their passport or identity documents
  • Appearing scared, avoiding eye contact, and being untrusting
  • They may allow others to speak for them when addressed directly, rather than speak for themselves.
  • They’re collected very early and/or returned late at night on a regular basis
  • May have inappropriate clothing for the work they are performing, and/or a lack of safety equipment
  • May be isolated from the local community and their family
  • They travel only with other workers

It can include victims that have been brought from overseas, and vulnerable people in the UK, being forced to illegally work against their will in many different sectors, including brothels, nail bars, factories, car washes, construction and agriculture.

What’s the difference between modern slavery and human trafficking?

The terms ‘modern slavery’ and ‘human trafficking’ are often used interchangeably. They can be taken to mean the same thing on most occasions, but human trafficking may also refer to the movement of people from one place to another. Human trafficking often involves threat, force and coercion, and people may be trafficked into modern slavery as a result of abduction or deception.

What to do if you suspect modern slavery


If you have information on the criminals operating modern slavery networks you can talk to CrimeStoppers, as an independent charity, 100% anonymously – your identity will never be revealed. If you are already in the UK, call free on 0800 555 111 or report details online here on their website.

What to do if you are a victim of modern slavery


Due to their anonymity guarantee, CrimeStoppers can’t take information from victims of crime. If think you may be a victim of modern slavery you can contact the charity Salvation Army by calling their 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 038151.

The UK Modern Slavery Helpline is available 24/7 to offer confidential, advice and support for any victim, statutory agency, business, or member of the public regarding modern slavery suspicions or concerns.

Trained Helpline Advisers are available to discuss potential signs of modern slavery and options for callers or victims in need. Call free on 08000 121 700.

Originally published by CrimeStoppers.

Police Grant Powers to York Street Rangers

York’s Street Rangers have been given legal powers to keep people safe and help police cut down on antisocial behaviour.

North Yorkshire’s Chief Constable granted the powers to eight qualified staff, who are employed by Eboracum UK Ltd and work as York Business Improvement District (BID) Street Rangers. The rangers can now require someone who has behaved antisocially to give their name and address. They can also stop cyclists riding on a footpath and control traffic in certain circumstance.

York Commander, Superintendent Lindsey Robson, said:

“Tackling antisocial behaviour benefits everyone and improves our communities greatly, so it makes sense to take all the steps we can to reduce it.  These powers have actually existed for a long time and are used to complement the work of our police officers and PCSOs. They are only granted if the Chief Constable is satisfied that they will be used appropriately and proportionally. York is already a very safe place, and by granting Street Rangers selected powers we can keep the millions of people who visit the city centre every year even safer.”

Under the legislation, the eight Eboracum UK Ltd staff who work as Street Rangers are be able to:

  • Require someone to give their name and address if they believe they are acting in an anti-social manner.
  • Stop cyclists riding illegally on the footpath.
  • Control traffic, which could be used in circumstances such as allowing an ambulance better access.
  • Require someone to give their name and address for a road traffic offences, assault or criminal damage.
  • Share and receive information wit the Police.

Carl Nickson, Managing Director of Eboracum UK Ltd, said:

“This accreditation further professionalises our partnership with the police. Following in the footsteps of CSAS schemes in other parts of the country, it provides the York BID Street Rangers with low-level but useful tools to assist in the reduction of anti-social behaviour. I am extremely proud of the positive progress made with the Street Ranger programme and feel privileged to have received this accreditation.”

The option to delegate powers was first granted to police forces in 2002 under the Police Reform Act. The authority does not extend to the power of police arrest. It lasts for 12 months, at which point it is reviewed by North Yorkshire Police.

LNER York Train Station- Secured by Eboracum

York firm Eboracum wins new contract after national tender process.

Eboracum UK Ltd celebrates as it wins a new high-profile contract to provide security and protective services at York Train Station.  London North Eastern Railway – LNER set out to procure a new provider to support its commitment to delivering a safe and secure customer environment at York Train Station.

The competitive national tender process measures include Quality, Partnership Working, Experience and employing local people.   The service will work in close partnership with other security providers, train operating companies, Police and a variety of stakeholders.

Carl Nickson, Director of Eboracum said

I am extremely pleased to confirm that we were successful in our bid. It fills me with pride to say that LNER is our customer. I am proud of our whole team for building up a high quality service and raising the bar in the industry. We look forward to forming a real partnership with LNER and play our important part by contributing to a safe, customer focused and secure environment at York Train Station