Detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Unit and Ports Team, along with UK Border Force, have been engaging with passengers from flights arriving into Belfast International Airport.
The partners are supporting the National Crime Agency’s efforts to raise awareness of and combat sexual exploitation, forced criminality, forced begging and child trafficking.
It’s part of Operation Aidant which, co-ordinated by the NCA, is a UK-wide operation involving the collective efforts of local police forces and partner organisations.
Detective Inspector Rachel Miskelly said: “Earlier this week, we engaged with passengers from flights arriving into Belfast International Airport. We’ve been handing out leaflets and highlighting the signs to look out for.
“Sadly, modern slavery is very real, and there could be victims of exploitation in your street or neighbourhood. These victims are often afraid or unable to speak out.
“The solution requires collective efforts, and I am keen to appeal to anyone who has information or concerns that someone is being controlled. Please do the right thing and speak up. Your call could end the misery of a victim living right next door.
“Likewise, if you have been exploited, please speak to us. I can assure you that you will be treated with respect and sensitivity – at every step of the way.
“In an emergency call 999; 101 in a non-emergency; or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 012 1700.”
You can find more information on the Human Trafficking page of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s website, which includes tell-tale signs to look out for.