Modern slavery victim reveals in video about being beaten up and how he lived in windowless trailer

Modern slavery victim speak out
Modern slavery victim speak out

A survivor of modern slavery who spent 15 years trapped in forced labour has spoken to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire to help raise public awareness of the issues.

At the end of 2018 the total number of referrals made by West Yorkshire Police to the National Referral Mechanism was 121, these include 73 adults and 48 minors. There was an increase of over 40 referrals in 2018 alone.

The survivor, who is being supported in West Yorkshire by Palm Cove Society requested he remain anonymous and said: "I was forced to dig out driveways ready for block paving and tarmacking, and if I didn't work, I got beaten up."

"I was in a trailer, no windows in it, no doors, and every time it rained I got wet."

"It affected me a lot because they were taking my money off me."

The interviews and videos have been released today to mark UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "It's hard to comprehend both the horrendous situation this survivor has been through and simply how anyone could treat another human being in this manner.

"Hearing this survivors story makes me even more determined, as the national lead Police and Crime Commissioner on modern slavery, to safeguard the victims and survivors of this horrific abuse and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"It is pleasing to know that the survivor is now safe and being support by a fantastic organisation, the Palm Cove Society, who have enabled him to rebuild his life and live independently.

"Working with partners, such as the Palm Cove Society, we are continuing to see progress both in West Yorkshire and nationally across all areas in tackling human trafficking and modern slavery which is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan, but we know there is always more to do."

DCI Helen Steele of West Yorkshire Police, paid tribute to the victim in this case who has come forward and relived the horrific ordeal he suffered.

"His bravery is helping to raise awareness of this awful crime that often hides in 'plain sight'. It could be happening on your street or in your workplace but by knowing how to spot the signs - which these videos highlight people can help us to rescue victims and bring offenders to justice," she said.