Last Thursday the Member of Parliament for Fareham, Suella Braverman, attended the launch of the Modern Slavery Exhibition at the Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham. Suella met with Modern Slavery County Coordinator from Hampshire Police, Kate Davis, at the exhibition launch which was hosted by Police and Crime Panel Chairman, Councillor Simon Bound.
The Hampshire Modern Slavery Partnership presented ‘The Real Faces of Modern Slavery: Unmasking the Truth’. The new exhibition tells the stories of survivors identified and supported within the surrounding area, with visual and audio content depicting their experiences past and present and their future aspirations. The exhibition will be touring Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from 5th October 2021. The exhibition launch welcomed Dame Sara Thornton, the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, as their special guest for the evening.
The event provided clarity for the Modern Slavery Partnership’s aim to raise awareness for signs of how victims are being exploited and how people can report concerns. The exhibition highlighted the local prominence of this issue by reminding visitors “it is important to recognise that this happens everywhere, even on our doorsteps.”. Between June 2020 to May 2021 there were 149 notifications to the authorities of sexual and labour exploitation along with county lines and organised immigration activity in Fareham, Havant and Gosport. Hampshire Police have been investigating current reports of workers being exploited in car washes, nail bars and cockle pickers along the coastline. To aid the police, the Modern Slavery Partnership have urged people to look out for potential signs of exploitation, these include being afraid to accept money, living in overcrowded properties, signs of physical and physiological abuse and not having access to correct safety equipment when working.
Suella found the Hampshire Police’s progress promising, to date they have achieved a greater level of awareness, endorsement from the independent Anti-Slavery commissioner, increased police operations and provided further training opportunities for officers. Suella welcomed the plan for greater collaboration, greater engagement with the private sector, bespoke quality training and further engagement with hard-toreach communities in their efforts to tackle slavery.
Commenting Suella Said:
“It is unacceptable that modern slavery still remains today; the Modern Slavery Partnership’s exhibition was a prominent reminder of this. The poignant accounts from survivors portrayed in the exhibition were deeply moving and I’m glad that this exhibition will aid the pursuit of ending modern slavery. It is also reassuring to hear of the Home Office’s additional £2 million investment for the new Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Programme to continue to support the law enforcement’s activity.”