Friday links: Rooney family sentenced, a new campaign, and the Vietnamese community.

Every Friday we share the latest news on modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Keep up to date by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter

Lincolnshire slavery gang jailed for total of nearly 80 years

Following on from our reporting on the church who sheltered victims of the Rooney family, there has been widespread coverage of their sentencing. ITV reported that their sentences added up to nearly 80 years, while the Guardian mentioned comments made by the Judge on the case, who suggested cases like this one could be more prevalent that we think. 

One captive, who was held for 26 years, was ordered to dig his own grave and told “that’s where you’re going” if he didn’t sign a bogus contract. He said he was also beaten with a rake when he overslept and suffered broken teeth when a concrete slab was thrown in his face.

The shameful slavery in the heart of London

This week saw the beginning of a new campaign from London's Evening Standard. With the headline 'Slaves on our streets' they announced their intention to launch an investigation to expose the 'hidden horrors of modern-day slavery in London'. ITV also got on in on the act, sharing a harrowing story of a woman who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation. 

It is in that proud campaigning tradition on behalf of the dispossessed that we today launch our special investigation into modern slavery. Most people think that slavery disappeared from these shores two centuries ago ... We are wrong. Slavery exists here in rich, progressive 21st-century Britain — including right here in our capital city.
— George Osborne

Slavery report sounds alarm over Vietnamese nail bar workers

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner launched a report on the trafficking of Vietnamese nationals to the UK. They are trafficked into a variety of industries, but are often found in cannabis cultivation and nail bars. You can read the Guardian summary, or the full report. The Guardian also has an account of a visit to 'Vietnam City', a camp in France which is a typical stop-off point for people being smuggled or trafficked into the UK. 

This is serious and organised crime, with people being traded as a commodity. We have consistently seen links between nail bars and illegal migration. We know some are feeding and funding organised crime. We need to do something and push it off the high street.
— Kevin Hyland

Six in custody after joint op with Derbyshire Police

And finally, a joint operation in Derbyshire took place this week. The GLAA reported that six people are in custody and the Guardian said ten potential victims of modern slavery were identified through the raids. The Derby Telegraph has a more local angle on the story, with an interview with local residents on their feelings about living in the same street as potential victims of slavery. The agencies in Derbyshire have really taken partnership working to the next level - you can read more about the partnership on Derby's Diocesan page

We have been working very closely with Latvian authorities on this case and we’re grateful for their support. We have also been supported by partner agencies including the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, Derby City Council and HMRC. We are in the early stages of this investigation and the safety and well-being of the men we believe to be victims remains our priority.
— DCI Rick Alton

That's it for this week! Keep up to date with us throughout the week by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, or sign up to our monthly newsletter