Signs of a potential victim of modern slavery may include:

  • They seem malnourished and tired
  • If from overseas, they don’t speak much English
  • They wear unsuitable clothes for the work, or for the weather
  • They appear to be under the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others
  • They are reluctant to make eye contact or talk to people
  • They work excessively long hours and seldom, if ever, have days off
  • They appear fearful, uneasy, or anxious and distrustful of authorities
  • They have untreated injuries
  • They allow others to answer questions put to them
  • They are confined to their workplace and there may be signs that they also sleep there

Signs someone you know or speak to frequently may be a victim of modern slavery may include:

  • They always appear scruffy and unwashed
  • They lack personal possessions
  • They are frequently dropped off or picked up at unsociable hours
  • They don’t know their home or work address
  • They have limited social contact or contact with their family
  • They never seem to have any or much money, despite working long hours
  • They don’t have possession of their passport, driving license or other identification documents
  • You perceive that they are in debt to their boss or someone else
  • If female, she has an unwanted or underage pregnancy
  • They offer incoherent or changing accounts of events
  • They repeat a story that you have heard elsewhere–as if they and others have been instructed to learn it

Signs that a house, flat or other dwelling could be a base for modern slavery

  • The property seems too small for the numbers of people that live there
  • People appear to be bundled in and out of the property by others, often during darkness
  • There are bars on the windows and/or the curtains are permanently drawn or boarded up
  • Large numbers of young women have suddenly been moved into the property, which then receives lots of visitors day and night
  • The letterbox has been sealed over
  • There is CCTV at the entrance to the property
  • The pungent smell coming from the property
  • Electricity is being re-routed from neighbouring properties or directly from power lines

None of these indicators in isolation or combination can give you complete certainty, sometimes it will be a case of acting on your instinct that something is not right.

You do not need to be certain to report your concerns.