Police raise awareness to human trafficking

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Police Scotland visited 89 business premises across the Lothians and Borders as part of a major human trafficking awareness-raising initiative last week.

The aim of the national day of action was to highlight the exploitation of vulnerable people, how to report concerns and the support available to victims.

Visits were made to businesses across the four local authority areas, including premises such as restaurants, care homes and car washes.

Officers also gave leaflets and advice to shops and other businesses across Dalkeith town centre, and general awareness raising patrols were carried out in Hawick, Kelso and Peebles.

Detective Inspector Paul Batten said: “We are determined to improve the intelligence picture in order to gain a better understanding of trafficking in Scotland and the organised crime groups who are involved, and the work we have carried out will inform the next steps we take.”

Local officers were supported in the visits by partner agencies as well as Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit, a dedicated team which deals with this complex issue and liaise with partners and law enforcement both in the UK, Europe and internationally.