Five women rescued as police raid suspected brothels in Birmingham

Two women and three men arrested following late-night raids

Police have rescued five women believed to be sex trafficking victims after raiding nine suspected brothels in Birmingham.

Two women and three men were arrested on suspicion of managing a brothel following the late-night raids.

Three of the buildings raided by some of the 40 officers involved in the operation were found to be empty, but evidence at the scene suggested they had also been used as brothels.

Officers from West Midlands police seized mobile phones, cash and laptops as well as paraphernalia relating to prostitution.

A video posted on YouTube by the police force shows officers bashing down a front door and storming one of the properties in the dark.

Detective Inspector Darren Haynes said in the video: "We've seized laptops, satnavs, mobile phones, there's clear evidence of large amounts of cash, receipts, the whole picture of this premises would lead me to believe that it is being used as an illegal brothel and perhaps the girls inside are being human trafficked

"The victims are lost, treated really badly and abused on a daily basis."

The raids were part of Operation Sentinel, a crackdown on sex trafficking and exploitation in the region and were launched following intelligence gathered from local residents.

As part of the operation the force is conducting a comprehensive review of the policies and procedures it uses to tackle human trafficking.

Detective Superintendent Tim Bacon said: "It's hard to believe that modern day slavery is happening in the West Midlands, but sadly it's on the increase and we're determined to put a stop to it.

"Tonight's action, first and foremost, is about protecting people who more often than not don't even realise that they are victims.

"But we're also sending out a strong message to the traffickers that they're not going to get away with using our area as a place to commit this appalling abuse."

The raids took place in the areas of Bordesley Green, Hay Mills, Acocks Green, Sheldon, Alum Rock and Moseley.

PA

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