GALLERY: Seven people rescued from homes in Huntingdon after human trafficking raids

11:38 02 July 2014

Human Trafficking Raids, Keln Leas, St Ives.

Human Trafficking Raids, Keln Leas, St Ives.

Archant

Seven victims of human trafficking were rescued on Thursday as police carried out dawn raids in Huntingdonshire.

At 5am officers smashed in doors at homes at Keln Leas in St Ives, and at Sallowbush Road, Sapley Park, The Whaddons and Thongsley in Huntingdon, as they carried out an operation aimed at ending the plight of those who had been suspected of being forced to stay and work in this country.

Seven Lithuanians were taken from the properties to a reception centre in Huntingdonshire where they were being looked after by the Salvation Army.

Eleven people were arrested during the raids, which involved officers from the Border Force, Huntingdonshire District Council, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and the British Red Cross.

Eight people were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. Three were from Thongsley – men aged 19 and 21 and a woman aged 19; one each from Sallowbush Road and The Whaddons – men aged 23 and 26 – and 22-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man from Sapley Park.

In St Ives a 45-year-old man from Keln Leas was arrested.

All eight were bailed until August 8.

Another woman, aged 20 from Thonglsey, was also arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, but was released without charge. Two of the others were arrested on miscellaneous offences such as drugs possession and the third was detained on a European arrest warrant.

Detective Inspector Leigh Allman, crime manager for Huntingdonshire, said: “This has been in the planning for some time, as with any major operation it has taken a few weeks to prepare.

“Human trafficking is a new type of offence we are investigating. For us we wad to make clear any reports or exploitation and trafficking are dealt with swiftly.”

He added: “We are committed to working with partner agencies to tackle the exploitation and trafficking of workers in the Huntingdonshire area and targeting those who gain from others’ suffering.

“Victims are promised a better life in the UK with well-paid work but often end up in over-crowded accommodation, on very low wages and with someone else controlling their affairs.

“Victims are often too frightened to come forward and reluctant to seek help from authorities. However, I would urge anyone who feels they are being exploited or has any concerns about individual workers to contact police.”

Major Anne Read, anti-trafficking response co-ordinator at the Salvation Army, which is looking after the victims, said: “It is vital that victims of trafficking receive immediate access to specialised support. Our team has been working to assess the needs of the victims and ensure that they have access to accommodation and support at safe houses if needed.

“The Salvation Army operates a Government contract to provide vital help and support to adult victims of this pitiless exploitation which gives them the very best chance to try to recover through the comprehensive specialised services we can offer working with our partners.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Wisbech Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Wisbech Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Wisbech Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 15:21
Wisbech Church Terrace car park toilets. Picture: Steve Williams.

Three women who tried to call the non-emergency police line to report a man asleep in public toilets in Wisbech gave up after being put on hold for more than ten minutes - only to discover he died in the cubicle during the night.

Sam Smith, centre, presenting the cheque to Shane Sleath and under 13 Wisbech player Alex Bishop.

Wisbech Town Cricket Club received a very welcome £500 boost from one of the town’s organisations.

Emily's desert.

Three budding chefs from the College of West Anglia (CWA) won medals at a prestigious skills competition.

Yesterday, 11:04
Aigars Balsevics, Wisbech Cllr for Hill and Staithe. Picture: Steve Williams.

Conservative Aigars Balsevics won the Staithe Ward by-election for Wisbech Town Council in yesterday’s poll with more votes than both his rivals put together.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition today E-edition