A picture of a woman cleaning windows is causing a stir online after being shared by the police.
While the image may seem innocent at first glance, it could have a more sinister meaning.
Police have shared the picture as part of their campaign against modern day slavery.
The Avon and Somerset force spearheading the campaign warns: ‘Do you see someone who is always inside the home cleaning? They are also never out of the home on their own?
‘This could be an indicator of domestic servitude.
‘Many victims won’t know they’re being exploited and need you to be a voice for them.
‘Anything that doesn’t seem right can be reported to us on 101.
‘If you’d like to remain anonymous you can also make a report through the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.
‘Please share this post to show your support for our campaign.’
What is modern slavery?
Modern day slavery is the movement and trade of people of any age, often for the purpose of exploitation.
Almost all forms of modern day slavery include some element of forced labour, which is ‘any work or services people are forced to do against their will.'
There are many different types of modern slavery which include sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude, child exploitation and criminal exploitation.
What are the signs?
Not all of victims of modern slavery are aware they’re slaves, working conditions may seem better than what they would receive at home.
Criminals are taking advantage of this and this is why it’s important members of the public speak out for them, by telling police what you see you might help free someone enslaved with or without their knowledge.
Some of the common signs which might indicate modern slavery is a possibility:
- Do you see women being dropped off and collected by one vehicle at strange times?
- Do you see a young person begging on the street?
- Do you see a young person shop lifting high value items?
- Do you see someone responsible for the cleaning of a home / care of children 24 hours a day with no contact with anyone outside of the home?
How to report?
There are a number of ways members of the public can make a report of suspected modern slavery.
You can report crime directly to police by calling 101 in a non-emergency.
If a crime is in progress or in an emergency we’d always recommend you call 999.
If you’d like to remain anonymous you can also make a report via the modern slavery helpline.
That can be either be via their website or by calling their number on 08000 121 700.
There is also the option to download a free app for your smartphone, which also has some information and indicators to look out in suspected cases of modern slavery.