POLICE in South Derbyshire are working with businesses across the area in a bid to crack down on human trafficking.
Derbyshire Police has joined forces with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to help firms identify any workers who may have been trafficked into the county for the purposes of forced labour.
The two organisations began their latest partnership arrangement under the name 'Project Advenus' this week by embarking on a programme of visits to companies that might be at risk from trafficking within their labour supply chain.
Paul Broadbent, the GLA's chief executive, said: "Trafficking workers into the UK for forced labour is a problem that is on the increase in the UK.
"This was highlighted recently in Derbyshire by some high-profile cases."
Recent cases in the area included 11 people found who were believed to have been trafficked into the UK from Eastern Europe.
They were kept at the former Dales care home, in Repton, while investigations were conducted.
In March, a group of illegal immigrants were found in the back of a lorry bound for a firm in Occupation Lane, Woodville.
Detective Inspector Mark Knibbs, from Derbyshire Police, said: "A recent joint enforcement programme has highlighted the need to equip these larger companies with the necessary information and contacts to give them the best chance to spot and react to potential trafficking issues.
"It has been a productive partnership with the GLA, and between us we hope to reduce still further the opportunities for trafficked people to be exploited in Derbyshire."
The companies to be visited have either unknowingly employed trafficked individuals in the past or use large numbers of agency and/or migrant workers, so are potentially susceptible.