In Salford a motion was passed at our full council meeting to sign up to the Co-Operative Party Charter against Modern Slavery.

In this day and age Modern Slavery should not exist but it does. There are estimates that approximately 10,000 to 13,000 thousand people are victims in the UK alone.

It was only thanks to the actions of one of the council’s Trading Standards officers that a slave was found in an Eccles cellar several years ago. The victim was found sleeping in a cot bed in a cellar by officers who were investigating allegations of money laundering. They noticed things were not right and alerted police that a young woman was vulnerable. When she was taken to safety her horrific story unfolded and the evil couple who imprisoned her were eventually jailed.

Cases across the country show that Modern Slavery affects all ages and all nationalities. Under the Modern Slavery Act, which was introduced three years ago, councils have a duty to notify the Home Office if any person we help could be the victim of modern slavery.

Signing up to this charter also means that here at Salford City Council we will use our purchasing power to for social good. So any company or organisation we buy a service or product off will be reminded of their responsibilities.

Like our Trading Standards officers who reported their concerns – we all need to play our part. It is only by being aware and reporting things that don’t look quite right that we can make a difference.

For more information or to report a case of modern slavery please call the helpline 0800 0121 700 or report it online on the modern slavery helpline website.