AS HARVEST season creeps closer, people are being urged to download a new app that will help them recognise the signs of modern slavery on farms.
The Farm Work Welfare app, developed by charity The Clewer Institute, is a handy resource for farm businesses and workers to help them understand and thwart criminal networks that exploit people during this season.
The resource has also been translated into eight languages to help workers familiarise themselves with their rights in the UK.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “Few of us will ever experience or see slavery as a modern crime thinking it was long ago consigned to history, sadly this is not the case, it is a very real crime carried out by people who have no respect for their victims, often keeping them in servitude and in humane conditions.
“We must recognise the issue and do all we can to protect the vulnerable.
“Harvesting is strenuous work and slavery gangs may use this opportunity to exploit the workers as well as unknowing farmers.
“I would urge farmers and the public to download this app as it is an incredible resource provided by the Clewer Initiative.”
Detective Chief Inspector Craig Smith, force lead on modern slavery for Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Human trafficking and slavery can happen anywhere. This is not just an issue for big cities.
“We often rely on the public for valuable information and evidence when investigating these type of crimes. So I would also urge people to download this app as anything that highlights this issue and helps people report information can help us stop this type of crime happening.
“We work hard to protect vulnerable people, stop any possible exploitation as quickly as possible and to bring anyone found responsible for these horrific crimes to justice.”
The app can be downloaded on the Apple and Android app stores.