Police seek witnesses who helped ‘trafficked’ girl

An urgent request has been launched to search for witnesses who found a young girl – believed to have been trafficked to the UK – on a street in the north-west of England.

Merseyside Police are hoping to contact witnesses who may have helped the 16-year-old, who was found “in distress” in the Vauxhall area of ​​Liverpool.

The force said it received a report about the girl sitting at the junction of Chisenhale Street and Vauxhall Road at 10:00 BST on May 20.

Detectives said initial findings suggested the girl, described as Vietnamese, had been a victim of human trafficking.

“In-depth investigations”

Detective Inspector Michell Wilson, of the Merseyside Child Criminal and Sexual Exploitation Team, said the force was carrying out “extensive investigations” to find those responsible.

She said: “As part of this investigation we urgently need to speak to other people who saw her or may have also offered to help. »

The girl was described as having long black hair worn in a ponytail and was wearing a black coat, jeans and sneakers.

Detective Inspector Wilson urged anyone living near the junction to check the home’s CCTV, dash cam and doorbell devices that morning as any evidence of their movements could be “vital” .

In 2022, a total of 768 Vietnamese were referred to the National Referral Mechanism – a system for identifying potential victims of human trafficking – according to a recent Ministry of the Interior report.

Anyone concerned about human trafficking or modern slavery can call the UK Modern Slavery & Exploitation Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700.

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