A police operation was run at Doncaster’s airport to try to identify potential victims of modern-day slavery.
South Yorkshire Police and partner agencies looked for possible victims and raised awareness of the issue.
Supt Bob Chapman said: “It’s a sad fact that airports and ports across the UK provide a channel for traffickers or organised crime groups to bring vulnerable individuals into our country for sexual exploitation.
“The purpose of this operation was to work alongside the airport and other organisations to better understand the intelligence around this often hidden crime.
“We used this operation to increase opportunities to identify potential victims of trafficking and to offer support and referrals to specialist agencies as part of a national initiative.
“It was also incredibly useful to use the activity to raise awareness of modern slavery among the wider public of South Yorkshire.”
He said the exploitation of individuals can including sexual, domestic slavery or the use of people for financial gain.
Victims may be tricked into travelling to the UK by false promises of employment. The traffickers often pay the up-front costs of relocation, including travel and accommodation, which victims have to pay off,
Supt Chapman said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting vulnerable people from any and all forms of exploitation and I hope the increased presence at the airport yesterday was reassuring that we are taking crimes of this nature very seriously. We will continue to investigate and gather information about human trafficking and modern slavery, working with agencies across the country to disrupt the activities of those individuals who seek to traffic people into the UK.”
A spokesman for Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “We were pleased to participate in Anti-Slavery Day, an important national agenda which highlights an issue that all entry points to the UK face.”