Spotting the Signs of Modern Slavery

This month a couple were arrested in Eastbourne in connection with human trafficking. Co-Founder Lucy Butt helps us to understand the signs and how we, as a community, can help in the fight against Modern Slavery.

Sussex Police have provided some helpful information to enable members of the public to educate themselves on how to spot the signs.

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern Slavery is the illegal exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. It covers a wide range of abuse including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labour, criminal exploitation and organ harvesting. 

Anyone can be a victim of Modern Slavery. It does not discriminate by age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. Victims are tricked or threatened into work and are often unable to leave or report the crime through fear or intimidation. 

How do I spot the signs?

It can be difficult to spot the signs – they’re not always obvious but there are some things that you may notice:

*Does the individual look scruffy, malnourished or injured? Does the individual look scruffy, malnourished or injured?

*Is the individual acting anxious, afraid or unable to make eye contact?

*Is the individual working long hours, wearing unsuitable clothing or do they have the wrong equipment for the job?

*Is where the individual lives overcrowded, poorly maintained or are the curtains always closed?

*Does the individual behave like they’re being instructed by someone else, picked up/dropped off at the same time and place every day or don’t have access to money or identification?

How do I report it?

Communities have an important role to play in recognising abuse. If you recognise any of the above signs and suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, tell someone. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.

To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can also report it to Sussex Police online or call them on 101 at any time to report an incident. If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use the textphone service on 18001 101.

Should you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

We all have a part to play in the fight again Modern Slavery. To find out more visit