In an effort to combat modern slavery and raise awareness, the Metropolitan Police in London has initiated an intensive week-long campaign centred in Barnet.
This campaign, launched on Sunday, September 24, is part of the broader “New Met for London” plan, emphasising community involvement in reducing crime.
Met Police officers are collaborating closely with Romanian communities, which, according to police intelligence, are more susceptible to becoming victims of modern slavery. The objective is to build trust and empower individuals to identify signs of exploitation and cooperate with law enforcement to prevent it.
Additionally, officers are working in partnership with colleagues from ANITP, Romania’s national agency dealing with human trafficking, to bolster the Metropolitan Police’s response to cross-border human trafficking. Two ANITP representatives have joined London officers to engage with communities characterised by a high Romanian population. They will educate locals about recognising signs of exploitation and how to respond.
During the campaign, officers will be patrolling areas identified through intelligence, including brothels and homeless shelters.
They will also engage with Romanian nationals arriving at Luton Airport and interact with church congregations following sermons at churches attended by Romanians.
Detective Inspector Mel Lillywhite, from the Met’s Modern Slavery Unit, noted the importance of collaboration and community involvement, stating, “By working with the Romanian Police, we are cracking down on organised criminal networks who play a key part in human trafficking and exploit the most vulnerable in our communities.
“We also need help from the public… If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, please report it. You will always be taken seriously, and protection and support are available.”