Statement on the convictions and sentencing of criminals under Operation Fort in Birmingham
published on 8 Aug 2019
Eight people, who trafficked up to 400 people to the West Midlands, have been jailed following the UK's biggest ever modern slavery prosecution.
West Midlands Police worked alongside the Salvation Army to identify and support trafficked victims.
Kathy Betteridge, Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery for The Salvation Army said:
"This is exploitation on a horrific scale. We believe these convictions will be of some comfort to the many people supported by The Salvation Army and our partners. Hundreds of people were exploited by this criminal gang, who ruthlessly profited, without a thought to the impact on the victims' lives.
It demonstrates the importance of close collaboration between the police and partners such as The Salvation Army. Together we have disrupted the operation of organised crime gangs and given victims the support they needed to contribute to the criminal justice system and give vital evidence against their perpetrators.
However modern slavery is happening right now in every community in the UK and we need everyone to be alert to the signs and report anything suspicious they see.
We would urge anyone who suspects that they, or someone they have come across may be a victim of modern slavery and in need of help to call The Salvation Army's 24/7 confidential referral helpline on 0300 303 8151."