Northern Ireland

Slavery: PSNI investigate 54 cases since April 2019

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The PSNI has investigated 54 cases of modern slavery since April 2019, compared to 33 in the same period of 2018.

The Department of Justice released the figures in a report on Friday, which also marks Anti-Slavery day.

The department has urged the public to be vigilant of signs of trafficking in Northern Ireland.

Modern day slavery can range from labour or sexual exploitation to forced criminality and domestic servitude.

"The department aims to prevent people from getting drawn into slavery by reducing the vulnerability of those who may be targeted," said Claire Archbold, director of Safer Communities.

"We want to ensure that the general public is equipped to spot the signs of exploitation and report any suspicions."

Ms Archbold said that if a member of the public suspect somebody is a victim of slavery, they should contact the police.

Speaking about the report, Julie Wilson from the Department of Justice explained it is "focused on the priorities of improving how we care for and support victims, supporting the law enforcement response and preventing modern slavery and getting value from research and innovation".

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