Our #BeyondTheBeat campaign explains some of the more hidden demands that face modern policing. All this week we've been focusing on the topic of modern slavery and human trafficking.
You might be forgiven for thinking that these types of things don't happen in places such as Wiltshire. We're one of the safest counties in the country after all and surely these are the kinds of things that only happen in big cities?
The sad truth is that whilst modern slavery and human trafficking are national issues they are experienced in Wiltshire too. Victims of human trafficking and modern slavery can be from the UK or overseas and can be male or female, adults or children and from various backgrounds.
The exploitation of vulnerable people can happen in perfectly legitimate looking businesses within our communities such as nail bars.
Having a manicure might come at a seemingly low price but the human cost could potentially be high. Victims of modern slavery often have their passports and documentation kept from them to restrict their movements. They may be forced to work for long hours for little or no pay. Debt is often used to control victims alongside threats, intimidation and physical violence. They may be being kept in cramped or unsuitable accommodation and have limited access to food, drink or healthcare.
Of course there are many nail bars operating in Wiltshire where workers are paid a fair wage and are treated well. Our officers and staff regularly carry out welfare visits to nail bars and other types of establishment where modern slavery offences have been known to take place. We want to ensure that workers have freedom of movement, are safe, are paid fairly for the work they do and are being treated well by their employers.