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Five arrested in modern day slavery raid


4:42pm 13th September 2017
(Updated 4:15pm 14th September 2017)

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences after a large-scale Surrey Police investigation.

The operation was carried out at five sites across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and London on Wednesday (September 13).

Operation Cleeve focussed 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.

The five – one woman and four men, from Hampshire and Surrey - remain in police custody.

Ninety five Surrey Police officers were involved, in close cooperation with colleagues 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."

Surrey police have listed a number of signs to look out for when spotting modern day slaves:

  • Show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished and appear withdrawn
  • Seem 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 a passport
  • Appear frightened or hesitant

They are often hidden in plain sight, working in nail bars, on construction sites, in the hospitality sector or in agriculture.

Surrey police urge anyone worried or suspicious of this kind of activity happening near them to contact them immediately via the 101 number or 999 in an emergency.

You can also report on the Surrey police website. 

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