Cheshire Police: Two arrested in human trafficking investigation
Cheshire Police has today (Wednesday 20th May) executed a number of warrants as part of an ongoing investigation into human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Raids were carried out at properties in Nantwich, Crewe, London, Bristol, Stoke, and Preston and searches of those addresses are continuing.
Two people a 49-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman have been arrested in connection with the investigation – they are currently helping police with their enquiries. They were arrested at properties in Nantwich and Crewe.
A number of women were found inside the properties – they are believed to have been brought to the UK from Eastern Europe. They have been removed from the properties and are being spoken to by specially trained officers.
The operation, led by Cheshire Police, involved a number of different agencies and other police forces across the UK Including The Met, Avon and Somerset Police, Staffordshire Police and Lancashire Police along with the National Crime Agency. More than 100 officers were involved in the strike phase today.
Specialist officers were used to gain entry to the properties and detectives and search trained officers are involved in carrying out detailed inspections of all the addresses.
Detective Inspector David Browne from Cheshire Police, who has led on the operation, said:
Human trafficking and sexual exploitation stems from organised crime and targets some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The action taken today shows the combined efforts of a number of agencies in tackling this issue.“The strike phase this morning is the result of months of hard work by a dedicated team of officers from Cheshire Police. During the investigation, intelligence and evidence has been gathered enabling detectives to piece together their case.
“Our enquiries are very much ongoing at this stage and we will continue to work with colleagues in other forces and the necessary agencies to ensure that anyone suspected of being involved in this type of crime is dealt with – and that anyone who is a victim is identified and offered the necessary support and safeguarding.
“Together we want to send out a strong message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated. We also hope that it helps to reassure local communities that we are doing everything we can to put a stop to this sort of activity.
Any residents who have any concerns or any information, which could assist officers with their enquiries, are urged to speak to a local officer or call Cheshire Police on 101. If you do not feel comfortable contacting police directly then information can be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555111.
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