Dorset Police have been targeting modern slavery and human trafficking with five local men arrested on Wednesday 29 June.
As a result of community intelligence the Force executed warrants at 10 addresses.
Chief Inspector Jamie Halford said: “This operation involved around 100 officers and staff from various teams across Dorset Police, the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and other partners.
“Officers arrested five men on suspicion of various offences and were able to safeguard nine vulnerable people and seized large quantities of cash.”
The following arrests took place:
- A 48-year-old man, of Poole was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery and money laundering.
- A 59-year-old man, of Bournemouth was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery, money laundering and sexual assault.
- A 50-year-old man, of Bournemouth was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery, money laundering, rape and sexual assault.
- A 29-year-old man, of Bournemouth was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery, money laundering, rape and affray.
- A 42-year-old man, of Bournemouth was arrested on suspicion of rape.
Deputy Chief Constable Sam de Reya, of Dorset Police, said: “Unfortunately, slavery is not a crime of the past. It also happens in our modern-day society. While industries may have changed, exploiting people for financial gain hasn’t. Unauthorised local car washes, nail bars, takeaways, restaurants and brothels are just some of places we’re finding victims, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“I joined our officers and staff on this enforcement operation and was able to witness first-hand the proactive efforts we’re making to seek out offenders, keep people safe and support victims of these terrible crimes.”
Dorset police and crime commissioner David Sidwick, said: “I want to send my thanks to each and every member of Dorset Police staff involved in this operation. Many people still have an ‘it doesn’t happen in Dorset’ attitude to modern slavery but ten warrants being executed in one day shows that it’s very real and very much happening in our county.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to look for slavery and report any suspicions or incidents – working together, we can stop it happening, so please if you have any concerns – report it.”
If you have concerns about modern slavery or human trafficking in your area you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or visit the Dorset Police website: www.dorset.police.uk – always call 999 if a crime is in progress.
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