Five in custody following large scale modern slavery raid
Five people have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences after a Surrey Police operation was carried out at five sites across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and London this morning (Wednesday, 13 September).
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.
Those arrested and released under investigation include:
- A man and woman from the Bagshot area.
- A man from the Camberley area
- A man from north east Hampshire
- A man from eastern Berkshire.
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.
“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.”
Victims of modern day slavery may:
- Show signs of physical or psychological abuse, look malnourished and appear withdrawn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
Modern slaves are often hidden in plain sight, working in nail bars, on construction sites, in the hospitality sector or in agriculture.
If you have any suspicions that people you have seen are being exploited or forced to work against their will for low or no wages, mistreated or forced to live in poor living conditions, report it to Surrey Police by calling 101 (999 in an emergency) or reporting online via the Surrey Police website.