New mural unveiled which highlights modern slavery

Rev. Dr. Dan Pratt, PC Claire Hamilton-Deane, Anna Heydon and Rev. Peter Timothy.

Rev. Dr. Dan Pratt, PC Claire Hamilton-Deane, Anna Heydon and Rev. Peter Timothy by the mural at Michael Blank / Middlegate Hut on Tolhouse Street. - Credit: Peter Timothy

A new mural in Great Yarmouth aims to highlight the perils of modern slavery - and maybe even save lives.

Commissioned by Park Baptist Church and Imagine Norfolk Together, the mural was unveiled at a ceremony on Monday outside the the Michael Blank/Middlegate Hut on Tolhouse Street, to mark anti-slavery day.

The mural at Michael Blank / Middlegate Hut on Tolhouse Street.

The new anti-modern slavery mural at Michael Blank / Middlegate Hut on Tolhouse Street. - Credit: Peter Timothy

It depicts four of the most common industries where modern slavery occurs: carwashes, nail bars, construction and domestic work, and is accompanied by a plaque with further details on how to spot the signs of the problem.

Unveiling the mural, Rev Dr Dan Pratt, founder of The Together Free Foundation, said: “This new mural highlights how victims of modern slavery can be hidden in plain sight within every community."

The mural is part of a wider local strategy to raise awareness of modern slavery.

Anna Heydon, development worker with Imagine Norfolk Together, said: “Modern slavery is a hideous crime which thrives on secrecy and people’s unwillingness to admit or recognise that it happens where they live.

“This mural is a call to action.

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"We must refuse to ignore or turn a blind eye from situations of injustice and oppression, but instead to stand against them and to stand with the victims.”

Anna Heydon and Claire Hamilton-Deane

Anna Heydon, from Imagine Norfolk Together, and PC Claire Hamilton-Deane. - Credit: Peter Timothy

Rev Peter Timothy, minister of Park Baptist Church, added: “Our aim is to help raise awareness and educate our community.”

Each year thousands of referrals concerning modern slavery are made to authorities, with incidents of trafficked children being reported in every local area in the UK.

The exact number of people trapped in slavery is difficult to determine, but cases continue to increase, with the true number of victims thought to be much higher due to the difficulties in detecting and reporting the crime.

To help improve awareness, Great Yarmouth Library is hosting a display of books related to the subject, whilst Ms Heydon was accompanied by PC Claire Hamilton-Deane to host an information stall at the library cafe to help answer questions on slavery.

PC Hamilton-Deane was keen to emphasise the need for the public to report their concerns: “If you spot one of the signs of modern slavery or witness something that concerns you please report it to 101, or call 999 if someone is in immediate danger.”

Poster for recognising the signs of modern slavery

Sport the signs of modern slavery. - Credit: The Clewer Initiative

To find out more about modern slavery download the Unseen App or visit theclewerinitiative.org.