Making sure air passengers are safe from criminal exploitation
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As flights into and out of Stansted Airport start to increase, we want to make sure passengers are safe.
This includes vulnerable people being exploited by criminals. We encounter various forms of exploitation, the main ones being people brought into or taken out of the UK to work in the labour and sex industries.
So we work with various agencies and charities to spot people at the airport who may be vulnerable to this type of criminality and safeguard them.
DC Mark Mark Ghosh explains: “We are always seeking to identify people involved in modern slavery and human trafficking. We also seek to arrest those responsible for criminally exploiting vulnerable people who enter the United Kingdom.
“Typically, at Stansted Airport, we see people due to be exploited within labour industries, going to work on construction sites or car washes, coming into the UK already in debt to their traffickers.
“The second most common form of trafficking we see are victims going to work in sex industries, as adult sex workers or within brothels.
“It’s important we keep an open mind and seek to identify anybody who may be due to come to the UK to be exploited, regardless of what that type of exploitation may be.
“They are often expected to work for little or no money, with no safeguarding and no protection. It’s these people we seek to protect when they come through the UK border at Stansted Airport, with the help of charities such as A21 and Justice and Care.”
A21 works to abolish human trafficking and modern slavery through awareness, intervention and aftercare.
A spokeswoman says: "A21 often supports the police, Border Force and law enforcement agencies in their identification and safeguarding efforts to support victims and potential victims of human trafficking and modern slavery.
“Our role in these operations is to ensure a victim-centred approach, to ensure the victim feels reassured and to offer consultation, interpretation assistance and services, including repatriation support."
If you think someone is being criminally exploited, ring 999 if it is an emergency, otherwise report it online at www.essex.police.uk or ring 101.