Police drive to uncover human-trafficking in Edinburgh

From left; Detective Sergant Robin Veitch, Detective Inspector Chris Lewis, Detective Sergent Bruce Coutts. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
From left; Detective Sergant Robin Veitch, Detective Inspector Chris Lewis, Detective Sergent Bruce Coutts. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A NEW campaign has been launched to crack down on the growing “hidden crime” of human trafficking.

Police are urging residents across the Capital to be more aware of the tell-tale signs of modern-day slavery.

Some of the most prominent indicators include people not being aware of their own address or appearing to be under the control of others.

Detective Inspector Christopher Lewis, of Police Scotland’s national human trafficking unit, said: “The scale of the problem in Scotland is unknown due to the very nature of human trafficking – it is a hidden crime.

“But what we can say is between 2013 and 2014 there has been a ten per cent increase in the number of victims that have been rescued within Scotland.”

City council workers who deal with the public on a regular basis have been made aware of the signs of forced labour and sexual exploitation and how to report any suspicions.

Police believe human trafficking does take place in the Capital.

Detective Sergeant Bruce Coutts, of the CID proactive unit in Edinburgh, said: “I wouldn’t say human trafficking is a big problem but it does go on in Edinburgh and we are working with the council to identify victims and try and rescue them.”

courtney.cameron@edinburghnews.com