YEP Says, August 12: Shocking reality of slave trade on our doorstep

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WHILE the political emphasis is still on Calais, and the continuing need for robust measures to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Britain, it is imperative that the police, and other agencies, devote sufficient time to identifying and apprehending rogue employers who make money on the back of slave labour on our own doorsteps here in West Yorkshire.

WHILE the political emphasis is still on Calais, and the continuing need for robust measures to prevent illegal immigrants from entering Britain, it is imperative that the police, and other agencies, devote sufficient time to identifying and apprehending rogue employers who make money on the back of slave labour on our own doorsteps here in West Yorkshire.

There is no place in a civilised society for such employment abuses and West Yorkshire Police should be commended for the positive steps that it’s taking after the force area was identified as a “destination of choice” for forced labour because of factors like an above-average number of low-skilled manual jobs. It is not a tag this region should be labelled with. Indeed, it’s a humiliation.

It is disturbing and profoundly distressing to know that people are being forced to work right under our noses in primitive conditions that belong to a bygone age and which are, thankfully, illegal thanks to the advent of health and safety legislation governing workplaces.

What’s clear is that for all the efforts of the police, they cannot win this battle of their own. They need the co-operation of the agencies. And they need suspicious activity to be reported by members of the public. For, without this intelligence, victims of slave labour will continue to suffer in silence.

The local beers saving local pubs

A growing number of real ale enthusiasts are drinking out of half pint glasses, according to campaign group Camra ahead of the Great British Beer Festival. How very un-Yorkshire! Yet, while this revelation will prompt those of a ‘glass half empty’ disposition to weep into their beer, there’s much to celebrate. The revival of micro breweries and local ales across the city - and wider county - are a welcome tonic to traditional pubs now fighting for their future as more people opt to drink at home. If smaller glasses do help people to drink responsibly while also supporting local hostelries, the future of such establishments is more likely to fall into the ‘glass half full’ category.

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