Close to Home – Trafficking in Norfolk
28 August 2015
Though the public’s understanding of human trafficking is getting better, most people still believe that trafficking involves women and young girls being smuggled into the UK froma third world countries and forced to work against their will. Although there are incidences where this sort of trafficking happens, more often than not, the victims are actually from the UK themselves and have been tricked or coerced into forced labour.
From large metropolises to small regional centres, trafficking happens in towns and cities across the UK. And despite the efforts of the local police force, Norfolk is no different. Luckily for people affected by the issue in the county, there are a number of organisations dedicated to helping the victims of trafficking get the help and support that they need to regain control of their lives.
What is trafficking?
According to Norfolk Police, human trafficking is the “recruitment and transportation of a person with the view to exploit that person, often for financial gain”.
This means that anyone who’s transported around the area and forced to work in any industry is being trafficked. Though a lot of people who are trafficked are forced to work in the sex industry, some victims are trafficked in order to work as domestic servants, drug dealers, drug manufacturers and manual labourers.
Like every area in the UK, Norfolk experiences a certain level of human trafficking. As there are no reliable specific statistics, it’s impossible to say how many people are trafficked in the county every year. But, in the UK as a whole, 2,340 people were identified as potential victims of trafficking in 2014 and Norfolk is likely to have been home to a small percentage of these cases.
Norfolk Police are working to identify the victims of trafficking and to provide them with the help that they need to escape their situation. The force is also working to raise awareness of trafficking in the local area.
What help is available in Norfolk
As well as the local police force, victims of trafficking have a number of dedicated organisations that they can turn to for help.
Here at Doorway Women’s Services, we work to support people affected by sex trafficking, giving them the help and advice they need to regain control over their lives and build a better future. To find out more or to talk to one of the friendly members of our dedicated team, call our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 1030.