Jump in number of slavery victims identified

More slavery victims have been identified
More slavery victims have been identified
Four illegal immigrants were found at Gosport Marina today.

Illegal immigrants found at marina in Gosport

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MORE slavery victims have been identified in the county.

National Crime Agency data shows there has been an increase across the country.

And in Hampshire, 61 potential victims were referred to a national mechanism in 2016, up from 54 the year before.

The figures include referrals by both police forces, charities and councils.

UK Border Force accounted for 19 of the people referred last year, while councils found 33 and the police seven.

Of those referred by police there were four boys and one man who were victims of labour exploitation.

One woman and a girl were victims of sexual exploitation, the report found.

Four of the seven were from the United Kingdom, with the others from Kuwait, Poland and Romania.

The NCA said the potential victims’ cases could be investigated by forces elsewhere.

Nationally there was an increase to 3,805 people in 2016, up from 1,745 in 2013.

A Hampshire police spokesman said it had ‘strengthened’ its work with other agencies.

He said: ‘This increase is a positive indication that we are becoming increasingly aware, and more successful at recognising, potential victims of human trafficking.

‘Furthermore, Hampshire Constabulary has engaged with communities where individuals involved in crime, such as drug offences, may have been exploited or become victims of modern slavery, and as a result we have seen an increase in victims contacting police.’