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Pregnant woman at Royal Surrey suspected human trafficking victim

Pregnant woman at Royal Surrey suspected human trafficking victim

Published by Lucinda Horsley at 2:25pm 21st May 2019.

A pregnant patient at the Royal Surrey is receiving "appropriate care" after she was found to be a suspected victim of human trafficking.

Staff at the hospital raised concerns for the woman in the maternity ward last Thursday (16 May).

The nurse became suspicious due to the behaviour of one of the suspects, who was accompanying the pregnant woman from Albania.

After securing an interpreter, the woman was given an opportunity to share her own account away from the suspect and further indicators of trafficking were recognised by hospital staff.

The nurse then became aware of a second suspect, who she believed was on his way to the hospital and notified police.

Officers arrived shortly after and arrested a 28 year old woman from Godalming and a 26 year old man from Reading on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

The two have been released from police custody but remain under investigation at this time.

A spokesperson for Surrey Police said:

"Modern slavery is a crime that exploits the most vulnerable people in our society. It's a crime that people think exists elsewhere but this incident is just one example of many similar offences in Surrey.

"Slavery also takes the form of labour exploitation and it's a crime that is hidden in plain sight. Next time you are at a car wash, think about who's cleaning your car - nail bars, building sites, domestic work - all these are places where modern slavery can flourish.

"It can be difficult to spot the signs but if you have any suspicions please report it. If you have any concerns, please call the 24/7 confidential Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121700, or 999 in an emergency."

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