Categories: BusinessPublished On: 12.06.20241133 words5.8 min read

The Power of Collaboration:

How private sector industries can assist in restricting organised crime and enhance the security of their industry as well as national security.

‘Over the last three decades, organized crime has been allowed to grow within the cracks and evolve in step with the global economy and advancements in technology to levels hardly imaginable. In contrast, governments have been slow to respond to the threat that organized crime poses. A more concerted, adaptive approach to tackling criminal flows and corruption by policymakers, law enforcement agencies, and civil society and the media is needed.’ Corruption and crime, measuring the links | Global Initiative

One thing that I have learnt as a security manager and now a director with Invisible Traffick, is that companies who just think of their security team members as door people or an overhead which must be there, are undermining and undervaluing a crucial resource within their company.

As illustrated by Global Initiative above, organised crime is a growing concern, and as stated by Interpol’s Secretary General Jurgen Stock, within their Vienna Declaration, Transnational Organised Crime ‘is an epidemic.’ This is why combating organised crime is not just down to Interpol and national policing, it is down to all of us no matter what industry we, as security professionals are employed in.

From frontline experience within industry, the introduction of awareness training covering telltale signs of human trafficking to frontline staff and security staff has proven effective in not just identifying human trafficking, but also identifying other organised crime activities. Knowing what to look for, the absence of the normal and the presence of the abnormal can empower your teams as well as motivate staff, which in turn enhances an organisations security deterrent as well as its security / safety culture.

Security Teams traditionally protect assets and manage controls to mitigate violence, theft, safety, customer service and crowd management. However, by enhancing training to include human trafficking behavioural tells organisations can enhance security as well as safety at their locations.

With the recent increase in conflict in Europe and middle east as well as demonstrations and unrest within the UK and Europe which has spilt onto the streets, this unrest produces opportunities for Organised Crime Groups, (OCG). OCG activities consist of human trafficking, child abuse, people smuggling, drug smuggling, weapons smuggling, smuggling of black-market and counterfeit goods, and much more, including these routes being used by terrorist organisations. As illustrated by Global Initiative’s 2022 Organised Crime Index, Human Trafficking and People Smuggling list within the Top Five organised crime activities. As stated by Global Initiative:

‘The continued growth of human trafficking serves as a sobering reminder of this market’s impact on society, where humans are the transactional commodity.


As the above illustrates both Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling, (People Smuggling), continue to be on the increase, this creates more victims, resulting in increased abuse, neglect, growth in illegal activities which influences increased criminality and smuggling. Human Trafficking awareness training focuses on behavioural tells not a person’s age, ethnicity, or religion including the following examples:

· Visual Appearance: Inappropriate dress, e.g. summer dress or light clothing in the hight of winter, they seem to wear the same clothes all the time, clothes seem tattered etc, they are travelling with no luggage or everything they own is in one plastic back, disorientation, lack of knowledge regarding where they are, who they are with.

  • · Behaviour: appearing frightened, reluctant to make eye contact, appear lost.
  • · Physical Signs: Looking ill or frail, potentially due to lack of food, sleep, or both.
  • · Controlling Companion: Someone continually speaking on behalf of another person or persons.
  • · People travelling or hanging around street corners at odd hours.
  • · People calling at an address all times of the day and night.
  • · People appearing unable to talk on their behalf and have a person speaking for them.
  • · People who work excessively long hours.
  • · Large group of people who live at the same address.
  • · Live in degraded, unsuitable places, such as in agricultural or industrial buildings
  • · Not dressed adequately for the work they do for example, they may lack protective equipment or warm clothing.
  • · People in a group that seem to be under the control of one person.

Where a smuggling route which is extensively used by OCG’s for human trafficking is deemed reliable, this route can also be used to smuggle other items into the UK, and Europe, including weapons, drugs and counterfeit or illicit black-market items.

However, by building awareness and empowerment of your security personnel, organisations can enhance their location’s deterrents as well as resilience towards these crimes, which threated their people, customers, assets as well as their reputation.

Case Study:

Invisible Traffick, commenced delivering Human Trafficking awareness within UK Ports and airports back in 2019. This training of front-line staff achieved almost instant success with staff identifying eight suspicious behaviours of passengers, who they report to Portal Police, which led to eight arrests, mobile phone and laptops being seized and as a result disrupted two international human trafficking organisations. From the training staff confirmed that they felt more empowered to know what to look for and in reporting their concerns to their manager and or police.

Behavioural tells, and tell-tale signs (red flag indicators) can be a powerful tool to train staff in. Since this initial training and an follow up refresher training, staff have not just continued in reporting suspicious activity in relation to human smuggling or people smuggling, their observations have also resulted in observations which have led to assisting in disrupting drug smuggling, puppy smuggling, food smuggling, identified two instances of passengers trying to leave the country against their bale conditions and identified to Portal Police a suspicious male who was eventually identified as an international diamond smuggling wanted by Europol.


SIA currently provides training for the following sectors: Door Supervisor, Security Officer (Guarding), Security Officer (Key Holing), Cash and valuables in transit operatives, CCTV Operators and Close Protection Operatives. The range of operatives covers the majority of industries and one which provides a vital service to industry both public and private sectors.

Training security operatives and frontline staff in human trafficking tell-tale signs, behavioural tells as part of their normal duties, not only assists in combating this horrific crime, but it also raises the awareness of staff toward other organised crime activities which can threaten your organisation as well as the country,

By building awareness of human trafficking among frontline staff can not only achieve benefits to your staff, your organisation and government agencies, it also builds knowledge in identifying other organised crime activities which can threat organisations, industry markets, corporate identity, commercial supply chains and our country as a whole.

Encourage your staff to observe and report!

Never underestimate the power of collaboration! #NUTPOC #invisibletraffick Home | Invisible Traffick