Five arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences after dozens of police officers raided properties

September 13, 2017
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Five people have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences following a major police operation at five sites across three counties and the capital.

Surrey Police-led Operation Cleeve resulted in the arrests of one woman and four men from Surrey and Hampshire on Wednesday.

The operation involved 95 Surrey Police officers, who raided five sites across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and London.

The woman and men who were arrested during the operation remained in police custody on Wednesday afternoon, Get Surrey was told.

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According to the force, Operation Cleeve “focused on establishing whether trafficking and labour exploitation using foreign nationals was taking place at the locations, including subjecting victims to physical violence and squalid living conditions”.

Surrey Police was aided by officers from the National Crime Agency.

Detective Chief Inspector Kerry Haddleton said: “This was a complex piece of work to break up a potentially large scale trafficking and slavery operation.

“Modern slavery is an offence that we know is happening around us in Surrey.

“Protecting the vulnerable and exploited victims of this horrific crime and pursuing those who commit it is something we take extremely seriously.

“I urge anyone who has any concerns about activity relating to individuals being forced to work against their will for low or no wages, or being controlled or mistreated, to report it to us.”

Signs to look out for

Are you worried about someone you think could be a victim of slavery? If you recognise the following signs then get in touch with the police urgently.

  • Show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished and appear withdrawn
  • Seem withdrawn or under the control or influence of someone else
  • Live in dirty, cramped conditions
  • Have few personal possessions, wear the same clothes and be without their personal documents such as passport
  • Appear frightened or hesitant

A force spokesman added: “Modern slaves are often hidden in plain sight, working in nail bars, on construction sites, in the hospitality sector or in agriculture.”

If you are suspicious that people you have seen are being exploited, mistreated or being forced to live in poor conditions, report it to Surrey Police by calling 101.

Alternatively you can report online or if in the event of an emergency, call 999.

Keep up to date with the latest news from around the county via the free Get Surrey app.

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Article source: http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/five-arrested-suspicion-modern-slavery-13616438


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