Police visit Peterborough nail bars in effort to tackle modern slavery

Police visited two nail bars in Peterborough as part of an operation to tackle modern slavery.

By Stephen Briggs
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 5:00 am

Officers visited a total of 12 sites in Cambridgeshire in the last two weeks, speaking to workers and business owners to identify any potential victims of slavery.

Although no criminality was uncovered, some of the businesses were spoken to about improvements that could be made to their working practices.

Police said that whilst most nail bars are legitimate businesses, nationally there have been multiple cases of modern slavery linked to the industry making them of particular interest to police.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Police taking part in the operation

The action formed part of Operation Aidant, which is led by the National Crime Agency.

Signs of modern slavery relevant to nail bars include people:

- Seeming overly tired, withdrawn or avoiding eye contact

- Sooking unkempt or showing signs of physical abuse

- Not being able to come and go as they wish

- Being unpaid or paid very little

- Working excessively long or unusual hours

- Businesses only accepting cash

Detective Superintendent Ian Middleton said: “The vast majority of nail bars are run as reputable businesses, but sadly some exploit workers to maximise profits.

“Victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are often trapped in desperate situations where they feel as though there is no way out.

“Regularly those trapped in slavery don’t realise they are victims, or they are so terrified of their captors that they don’t see a way out. That’s where we need to public’s help. The signs of modern slavery are not always obvious, but we need people to be aware of them and report any concerns, however small.

“If something doesn’t seem quite right then please let us know. We’d much rather investigate and find everything is legitimate than have someone trapped in an awful situation.”