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Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley is spearheading campaign to stop modern slavery

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: August 09, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

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A CAMPAIGN to stop 'modern slavery' is being spearheaded by Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley.

An advertisement campaign has been launched on television urging people nationally to come forward with information if they see or have any concerns that anyone is being used as a slave.

Mrs Bradley, pictured, the Government's Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime, said 1,750 people had already been found to be victims of modern slavery in the UK, a third of them children.

She said: "There are so many ways that modern slavery is happening. I have met a person who was used as a slave by a British national for 26 years.

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"It started when he was offered a drink. The offender was only caught because trading standards were investing a driveway that was being built.

"I have also been to Manchester Airport where I joined the safeguarding team.

"We were able to identify people that were coming into the country who would be used as slaves.

"It is thought that the problem is not increasingly massively, but that more people are being caught through more operations taking place.

"We do have victims in Staffordshire, and it does happen on our doorstep.

"The advertising campaign is to make people aware that it could be happening in their own location and urging them to contact a helpline if they see anything suspicious.

"Even if it is found that nothing is wrong it will have been worth the call." The helpline is being run by trained experts through the NSPCC and is available for concerns over both children and adults.

Mrs Bradley added: "We want to use information from people's calls to report signs and help victims. People will then be arrested and offenders will be prosecuted."

Following a report from a joint committee on the Draft Modern Slavery Bill, a report has been present to Parliament.

The bill presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State said: "The Government is determined to give law enforcement the tools to stamp out modern slavery, while enhancing support for, and protection of, victims.

"This will be taken forward through the Modern Slavery Bill.

"This will be among the first acts specifically tackling modern slavery in the world and reflects the Government's determination that the UK leads the global fight against modern slavery."

Anyone with information or suspects anything suspicious is asked to call the free helpline on 0800 121700.

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