MORE three quarters of modern slavery reports end with cases going unsolved.

Some 78 per cent of all reports in Barrow since the Modern Slavery Act came into force in 2015 have been closed, ended undetected, unresolved or seen no further action taken.

A total of 18 reports ended that way out of 23 made to police, according to date obtained under Freedom of Information laws.

Three reports ended in a prosecution and two remain under investigation, the police figures said.

There have been 83 reports of modern slavery in Cumbria since 2015 using the Home Office counting rules for modern slavery.

The picture was similar in South Lakeland, with 12 out of 13 reports ending unsolved or no further action taken (92 per cent) and one case the subject of an open investigation. Copeland has seen zero reports.

Allerdale had the worst rate of unsolved, with 100 per cent of 18 reports ending this way.

Six out of eight reports in Eden ended with charges being brought.

One of 19 reports in Carlisle has resulted in a charge. Four were closed or unsolved and two investigations are ongoing.

Cumbria Police detective chief inspector Craig Smith said: “Our primary concern in cases of modern slavery and human trafficking is to safeguard the victims who are being exploited.

“Both police and our partners have carried out significant work across Cumbria to raise public awareness of these crimes and, as such, we are seeing an increase in intelligence and reports from the public and other agencies, which helps us to remove victims of these crimes from harm.

“We work hard to protect vulnerable people, stop any possible exploitation as quickly as possible and to bring anyone found responsible for these horrific crimes to justice.

“This has led to a number of charges, with high profile cases conducted alongside our partners currently going through the court and criminal justice process.

“Officers have also supported a number of initiatives both to support victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and to continue to highlight these crimes to the public which, in turn, will help the people who are being exploited.

“This is an issue not just for Cumbria, but for the UK as a whole and also globally.

“Many of these cases are identified through the vigilance of the public and our partners as they become more aware and attuned to identifying victims and offenders alike, so we would urge anyone with information to contact us as soon as possible.”

Call police on 101.