THE Salvation Army has been appointed to help victims of modern slavery after shocking figures showed 93 cases, including 69 children, across Merseyside.

Since the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, Wirral Council has worked with Merseyside Police to support potential and confirmed victims of modern slavery to get the support and help they need.

Now, a new contract awarded to the Salvation Army will see further improvements, while the police and National Crime Agency do more to bring organisers to justice.

Wallasey Conservative councillor Lesley Rennie said: "While many peoples’ lives in Wirral are slowly starting to return to a kind of normal, for victims of modern slavery, 'lockdown' never ends.

"These people, often children, are locked up, abused and exploited.

"I am pleased that the Salvation Army, who are world leaders in caring for the most vulnerable, will soon be helping to safeguard and protect victims as well as provide tailored support to individual recovery needs, lifting victims out of situations of exploitation and putting them in a position where they can begin to rebuild their lives.

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, leader of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, said: "The Salvation Army has been privileged to work alongside our partners to support thousands of victims of modern slavery as they rebuild their lives.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to not only continue to serve these most vulnerable people but that through the new Victim Care Contract we can extend the support available to them at all stages of their recovery.”

According to police and the National Crime Agency, someone in slavery might:

  • Appear to be under the control of someone else and reluctant to interact with others
  • Not have personal identification on them
  • Have few personal belongings, wear the same clothes every day or wear unsuitable clothes for work
  • Not be able to move around freely
  • Be reluctant to talk to strangers or the authorities
  • Appear frightened, withdrawn, or show signs of physical or psychological abuse
  • Be dropped off and collected for work always in the same way, especially at unusual times, for example very early or late at night.

The advice for Globe readers who suspect that someone is in slavery is, as follows:

  • Do not confront them or cause a scene as this will likely lead to increased harm for them. Instead, if you suspect someone might be in slavery:
  • Call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or fill out an online form.
  • Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
  • Contact the police.