Seven arrested in connection with modern slavery after raids in Kesgrave and Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 09:07 28 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 28 February 2019
Seven people have been arrested in connection with modern slavery offences following a series of raids in central Ipswich and Kesgrave.
Officers from Suffolk police, working with partners in the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), National Crime Agency (NCA), Romanian Police, The British Red Cross, Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council, executed a number of warrants and searches on Tuesday, February 12, as party of a pre-planned operation.
Five men - aged 49, 47, 21 and two men aged 23 along with two women aged 21 and 30 - were arrested on suspicion of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
They were all taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre to be questioned by detectives and were later released on police bail until Friday, March 1, pending further enquiries.
A 45-year-old man was also arrested for a European arrest warrant, with a Europol analyst joining the operation to conduct cross checks.
Large amounts of paperwork and cash were also recovered and seized as part of the operation.
A number of potential victims were located and spoken to by the agencies involved.
Detective Chief Inspector Angus Moir said: “These arrests came about as a result of information we received from a number of sources.
“Modern slavery is hidden in every community and in many cases the victims are very vulnerable and are specifically targeted by their exploiters.
“It takes many forms but the most common include criminal exploitation, sexual exploitation, forced labour and domestic servitude.
“I would like to thank our partners in working closely together to achieve these results.”
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Tony Byrne said: “Working productively with our partners at Suffolk police, we take a zero tolerance approach to modern slavery and labour exploitation.
“We would encourage people who have reason to believe that someone is being exploited to report their concerns.
“We can then take swift and decisive action to bring offenders to justice and protect vulnerable workers.”
Anyone who has any information about this type of crime or is concerned about someone being a potential victim are asked to call Suffolk Constabulary on 101.
If you have suspicions that someone is being trafficked – or to get help and seek advice - contact the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.
If you believe a person is being trafficked and is in immediate danger, call 999 straight away.
You can also report suspicions of trafficking by calling Suffolk Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.