Three arrests following modern slavery operation in Shipley Bridge
Three people were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences following a multi-agency operation at an address in Shipley Bridge, Horley, yesterday (14 May).
The two men and a woman were also arrested on suspicion of fraud offences and being in possession of a stolen car and a caravan. A dog, which was believed to have been stolen, was also seized during the initiative, known as Operation Memory.
The operation involved 30 Surrey Police officers and took place in cooperation with Tandridge District Council, Surrey Trading Standards and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.
The clampdown focused on establishing whether exploitation through slavery, poor living conditions or low and non-existent wages was taking place.
Enquiries remain ongoing to establish whether anyone at the address is a victim of exploitation.
The three people who were arrested have been interviewed and released under investigation, pending further enquiries. The suspected stolen vehicles have been seized, while further enquiries have established that the dog which was seized was not stolen.
Detective Inspector Jackie Elkins said: “The warrant was carried out following information that occupants were involved in criminal activity and that other occupants at the address were being exploited. Our investigation remains ongoing to establish whether any modern slavery offences have taken place.
“The operation was a success, resulting in three arrests and the seizure of suspected stolen vehicles.
“Modern slavery is a threat and is an offence that is happening around us in our local communities. This operation proves that 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.”
Anyone with concerns about individuals who may be involved are urged to call us on 101 (999 in an emergency) or go to https://surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/human-trafficking/
Alternatively, suspicions can be raised anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you think you are a victim of modern slavery please seek help. The Modern Slavery Helpline can assist you to understand what help is available including information, advice and ways to access support. The helpline is confidential and you don't have to give your name if you don’t want to. For more information, visit https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/ or call 08000 121 700
The Salvation Army can also help. Call their 24 hour helpline on 0300 3038151 or visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/human-trafficking