16 December 2015
The National Crime Agency has today published the Strategic Assessment of the Nature and Scale of Human Trafficking in 2014, the fourth annual report on potential victims of trafficking.
The NCA’s UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) reports that 3,309 people, including 732 children, were potential victims of trafficking for exploitation in 2014, an increase of 21 per cent on 2013.
The report shows that for the fourth consecutive year, Romania was the most prevalent country of origin of potential victims of trafficking, although in this reporting period, victims exploited for labour surpassed sexual exploitation for the first time.
The UK remained the third most prevalent country of origin for potential victims with 300 cases, a 55% rise on the previous year.
The assessment provides further breakdowns across the UK, listing both victims’ countries of origin and type of exploitation by country and region.
Caroline Young, Deputy Director of the NCA's Organised Crime Command commented, said:
“Human trafficking is an insidious and complex crime where much of the exploitation is hidden from view. However, the 21% increase in reporting in this assessment, a very similar increase to the previous year, indicates that law enforcement and first responders are increasingly encountering and recognising examples of trafficking in our society, the first step in being able to assist the victims and tackle the criminality.
“The National Crime Agency is committed to continually disrupting this vicious criminal trade in human misery, which exploits the most vulnerable people, both here and abroad, for financial gain. Victims are being forced to work in private houses and in hospitality, farming, manufacturing and construction industries. In many cases, threats and violence are used to ensure compliance.
“The NCA will continue to work closely with a range of partners to help eradicate this vile crime.”
View the report pdf here (2.11 MB).