Nearly 150 victims of modern slavery were identified in Hampshire last year - and officials fear the real number is much higher
NAIL salons, nannies, car washes and county lines drug dealing are all examples of how modern slavery is happening on our doorsteps and a series of organisations are determined to raise awareness of the issue in the county.
Last year there were 144 potential victims of slavery identified across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with officials fearing the number is much higher.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Modern Slavery Partnership marked Anti-Slavery Day today in Guildhall Square with four actors telling the true stories of victims of different types of slavery through performing arts.
The event aimed to encourage members of the public to spot the signs and report concerns.
Alan Hagger, chairman of the modern slavery partnership and head of commissioning, from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said: ‘It is important for us to highlight what is happening because people don’t think about modern slavery and how close it is to them.
‘We had 144 cases last year but those are just the ones we know about which is scary to think about. The response from the public today has been good and people seem interested and we need them to be able to recognise those signs of people avoiding eye contact with others or looking unkempt and report it.’
If anyone has seen or is experiencing modern slavery, they can contact the confidential modern slavery helpline on 0800 012 1700 or for more information go to modernslaverypartnership.org.uk