Lincoln’s Inn Fields is home to two of the largest and most popular soup kitchens in London, and is also a well known trafficking hub.
Christian: Guys came round, old gypsy guys. They said, ‘Do you want a job? Can you do a bit of labouring?’ I said, ‘How much are you going to pay?’ ‘We’ll pay you when the job’s finished.’ We drive down to this remote place and there’s a shed. He said to me, ‘You’re going to sleep in that shed.’
The traffickers will often wear high-vis jackets and will arrive in vans or cars, aware that homeless and unemployed people will congregate at certain areas at certain times. This provides them the opportunity to make a selection based on who looks most vulnerable. Alcoholics are commonly targeted and are provided with alcohol and cigarettes in exchange for a ride, with no information as to where they are going or why.The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves.
Photo: Portugal Street, Holborn, London, courtesy of The Dark Figure