The number of British modern slavery victims identified has increased by an eye-watering 72 per cent in just one year, according to new figures.
The Independent carried out an analysis of the official data and it showed the number of UK nationals recorded as being potential modern slavery victims increased from 1,246 in 2017-18 to 2,143 in 2018-19
According to the Salvation Army, a charity which works with victims, the number of victims caught up in labour exploitation rose by 63 per cent between July 2018 and June 2019.
This was the most common form of exploitation.
The big rise is being put down to the number of victims being identified as having been exploited through county lines activity.
This is where criminal gangs will send drugs from urban centres into more rural areas.
However, campaigners have also said exploitation continues to occur in farms, nails bars and salons and car washes.
Responding to the latest figures, CARE’s James Mildred said:
“These are very disturbing figures.
“They are a reminder that modern slavery is happening in our country, affecting thousands of men, women and children every day.
“It is vital the Government prioritises funding for victim-support services and for units involved on the front line of bringing traffickers to justice.
“Much has been done to make the UK a less appealing place for human traffickers, but there is still lots to do.”
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