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New app is launched to help stamp out modern slavery

30 Jul 2018

We are urging people to report modern slavery by downloading a new app.

The Unseen App was launched today (Monday) by leading anti-slavery charity Unseen, who also set up the National Modern Slavery Helpline in 2016.

The app provides a simple guide to recognising the signs of modern slavery, and makes reporting it to the Helpline as easy as a click of a button. The app was developed for Unseen by the Helpline’s founding partner BT, and can be found by searching ‘Unseen UK’ in app stores now.

There were 18 slavery crimes recorded in Bedfordshire last year, but this is not indicative of the actual number, as modern slavery is often a hidden crime. Everyone can help to combat modern slavery, by knowing the signs to look out for and reporting any suspicions.

Officers are doing a great job in investigating and uncovering these types of crimes in our county, and we works with the National Crime Agency on Project Aidant, a week of action aimed at increasing the proactive joint activity and a multi-agency approach to tackling this serious criminality.

Detective Inspector Katie Dounias, Bedfordshire Police’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking lead, said: “We have developed close relationships with Unseen and the National Modern Slavery Helpline, and work together in partnership to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in Bedfordshire.

“The Bedfordshire Anti-slavery Partnership is led by Unseen in collaboration with Bedfordshire Police and the Chair is our Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

“Unseen has been supporting police operations and action days to investigate modern slavery offences, and has been providing reassurance and support to potential victims identified throughout the visits. Unseen’s anti-slavery coordinators work closely with us to raise awareness about modern slavery, and increase the knowledge of this extremely serious low-risk, high-profit crime.

“The new app is a great tool that people can download for free to help them recognise the signs of modern slavery. We need the help of the public to speak out and report any suspicions and the app gives them an easy way to do that.

The new Unseen App is now available in Apple, Google Play and Windows app stores for free.  

Tackling modern slavery is everyone’s business and we all have a duty to be vigilant in spotting the signs.

For example, does someone you know, or see regularly, appear to be fearful, anxious, depressed or avoid eye contact? Do they lack general healthcare or appear to be malnourished? Do they have few or no possessions? Do they seem to have no control over their own finances or identification documents? 

If you have any information about human trafficking or slavery, you can contact the police in confidence by calling 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700, visit the website or download the free app.  

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