On Friday 5 July, eight members of the biggest modern slavery gang ever to be exposed in the UK were convicted and sentenced to jail.
The gang are believed to have abused over 400 Polish victims, forcing them to work and live in degrading conditions, stealing their pay, and providing them with inadequate food and sanitary facilities. The gang humiliated, threatened and beat their victims to keep them quiet.
Judge Mary Stacey said it was clear slavery still continued in the UK ‘often hiding in plain sight’, the BBC reported.
Medaille Trust congratulates the efforts of Detective Chief Inspector Nick Dale, the West Midlands Police and partner charities in bringing these criminals to justice. “Seeing justice done was worth waiting for,” said one Medaille Trust worker.
The BBC reported that the gang was discovered when two victims escaped and shared their experiences with charity, Hope for Justice, who contacted the police. Further victims were then rescued and many came into Medaille Trust’s northern safe house network, where they received the specialist support needed to process their trauma and rebuild their lives.
Birmingham Live quoted Detective Sergeant Michelle Ohrens – the deputy senior investigating officer on the case – saying “Many [victims] have returned to Poland and have really turned their lives round…They have proper jobs and are working and earning and have families and an outlook on life. Some have remained in the UK and are functioning members of society.”
While these convictions are a significant victory, there are many people still entrapped in slavery in the UK today. You can make sure that they are offered the specialist support needed by donating today or giving a little each month.