Fife police raid finds trafficking victims

Fife police targeted businesses in Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth.
Fife police targeted businesses in Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth.

Three potential victims of human trafficking were found on Tuesday after raids on businesses in Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth following a nationwide action by Police Scotland to highlight the exploitation of vulnerable people.

Coinciding with Anti-Slavery Day, Fife police, accompanied by BBC film crews, swooped the beach looking for potential victims of slave labour used by criminal gangs who supply the catering trade with shellfish. Also targeting nail bars and car washes, police took the three potential victims to a place of safety and detained suspected illegal immigrants from two Kirkcaldy business premises.

Detective Sergeant Chris Mill said: “Human Trafficking is very much hidden but is happening within Fife.

“Individuals often don’t see themselves as victims which is why we will proactively seek to identify them through visits like yesterday’s.

“The day of action focused on awareness raising. We spoke to business owners and managers, urging them to think about the people they employ and serve, and encouraging anyone with concerns about exploitation in any form to report it.”

A total of 430 Police Scotland officers took part in the raids nationwide, which also uncovered six children working in nail bars across Scotland who displayed indicators of trafficking.

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.