Anne Read, Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery for The Salvation Army, said:
"The news today from the National Crime Agency (NCA) of a rise in the number of potential victims of modern slavery in the UK is consistent with trends we have witnessed over the past six years of managing the Government contract to support all adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales. The number of people being referred to The Salvation Army for specialist support to start their recovery from exploitation at the hands of human traffickers continues to rise year on year.
“We welcome the improvements in the legislative framework for prosecuting perpetrators of this horrendous crime through the 2015 Modern Slavery Act and the increase in police activity to bring people to justice.
“The Salvation Army and our partners work closely with the police by providing immediate support to victims rescued via police operations and by ensuring the right support is given to those individuals in our care who choose to engage with police inquiries into their perpetrators.
“For someone who has just been released from the living hell of being kept in slave-like conditions, it can take tremendous courage to be part of the process of confronting the people who exploited and abused them. Therefore, the specialist support provided by The Salvation Army and our partners is vital to helping survivors contribute to the processes of criminal justice.
“We also echo the NCA’s plea that everyone in the UK should have a part to play in helping to stamp out modern slavery. We need people to accept that modern slavery is taking place all around us, in every community, urban or rural, affluent or poor. We all need to be alert to the signs that something suspicious we come across may be modern slavery and that by reporting our suspicions, we could ultimately help save someone’s life.”