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London human trafficking raid sees 14 women freed from sexual slavery as arrests made

‘Hundreds’ of women trafficked to UK every year, Metropolitan Police says

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 30 March 2021 16:46 BST
Six people have been detained
Six people have been detained (PA)

More than a dozen women have been freed from sexual slavery in London as part of a police investigation into human trafficking.

The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday it had rescued 14 Romanian women from three addresses in Harrow, one of which was allegedly a brothel.

Four men and two women were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

Those detained were aged between 22 and 37 and have each been arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences, including holding a person in slavery, human trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering.

Nick Bland, acting detective inspector at the Met's central specialist crime unit, warned that "hundreds" of women were brought to the UK each year against their will and forced to sell their bodies.

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In a statement, he added: “We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising.

"Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of sexual exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network.

"We need the public’s help as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously, and protection and support is available."

Monday's arrests were made at properties in Station Road, Hindes Road and Stirling Road in Harrow, northwest London, about 14 miles away from the capital's centre.

The raids were planned jointly by the Met and Romanian authorities.

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