Modern day slavery encompasses forced and bonded labour, domestic servitude, forced begging, criminal coercion and human trafficking. In Northumberland and North Tyneside, Changing Lives run a specialist service to help victims of modern day slavery. This includes helping people to recognise their situation as modern day slavery, know where to turn for support, and access help to free themselves from exploitation.

Services Managers Helen Aitchison and Debra Cowey were invited to talk about Changing Lives’ work supporting victims of modern day slavery in the North East.  They joined a number of well-respected guest speakers, including Dame Vera Baird QC, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria Police, who said:

“Tackling modern day slavery is a complex issue that requires a holistic approach from every and all of our partners as well as police. This type of crime is often hidden from sight and many people do not realise these offences can and do happen on our doorstep. We all have a responsibility to help and we are determined to do all we can to protect those who may be vulnerable.”

Detective Chief Inspector Claire Wheatley, head of Northumbria Police’s Complex Abuse Investigation team, said:

“Modern day slavery crimes are being committed across the country, including here in the North East. Many of the crimes are still hidden which means the victims of these terrible offences also remain hidden which is why we are continuing to ask people to report any suspicious behaviour to us.”

You can read more about Changing Lives’ work around modern day slavery here:

If you are concerned about someone suffering through exploitation in the North East, call or text us on 07812 672 745.

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