Local Labour Euro-MP DEREK VAUGHAN has given his backing to a campaign to help people spot potential signs of organised crime in their neighbourhood.
The Blue Blindfold Campaign is a police-backed initiative to open people's eyes to tell-tale signs of human trafficking.
Mr Vaughan has said that people in Wales could help the authorities to tackle this crime, which is the third largest source of income for organised crime.
His backing for the campaign coincides with the European day against human trafficking (Monday, 18 October 2010).
DEREK VAUGHAN MEP said:
"This is modern day slavery, and it's really worrying that it could be happening much closer to home than you'd think.
The Blue Blindfold Campaign is all about opening people's eyes to the signs of human trafficking. The people affected are of often very afraid and we can help them by being aware of the problem.
The campaign encourages people to look out for signs that could indicate people in their neighbourhood are being held or forced to work against their will. These could include people seemingly locked into overcrowded accommodation or being fearful of people in the wider community."
"This is about making sure everyone understands the issues behind human trafficking so that if it is happening nearby, they can recognise the signs and raise their concerns with Crimestoppers.
It's then up to specialist staff to decide whether something illegal really is going on."
Mr Vaughan went on to express his concerns about the UK Coalition government's lack of support for initiatives to combat human trafficking.
"Other European countries are working together to coordinate the way they tackle this despicable trade, but the Tory & Lib Dem government has decided not to get involved.
This is an international problem, so it makes perfect sense to fight it at an international level. I just can't understand why the British government is standing by while others act."
Information about what to look out for, along with background and case studies is available on the Blue Blindfold Campaign website: www.blueblindfold.co.uk