Five arrested in modern slavery raids in Wickford and Tiptree

Officers have made five arrests, seized £20,000 in cash, and safeguarded 12 people and nine dogs during warrants at addresses across Essex in connection with an investigation into modern slavery.

Officers executed warrants at around 5am today, Tuesday December 14, which included two at Hovefields Avenue, Wickford, and at an address in Kelvedon Road, Tiptree.

Four men – aged 76, 42, 36, and 35 – have all been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

The 35 year-old man has also been arrested on suspicion of rape.

Another 42 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault.

Officers also seized £20,000 in cash and safeguarded 12 people.

Nine dogs – an adult and eight puppies – were also found and have been safeguarded.

Detective Chief Inspector Justin Beacher said; “Today’s arrests have been the result an intelligence-led operation into modern slavery.

“It’s a term most people are not familiar with, but sadly it means that some people do not have the freedom to make their own life-choices.

“To tackle this issue, we work with our partners to support victims and would ask anyone who is, or who knows someone who may be a victim to tell us so we can make it stop.

“Anyone who participates in this cruel, inhumane practice should know that we will arrest them and bring them to justice.”

Leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Andrew Baggott, said: “I am grateful to our colleagues at Essex Police who have the council’s full and unwavering support in this matter.”

Debi Lloyd, European Operational Coordinator at Justice and Care, said: “Modern slavery is all around us, which is why today’s warrants are so important.

“We are delighted to be able to join with Essex Police on the operation – providing support to those who have been safeguarded.

“We will ensure they have access to the help that they need and we hope help engage them with the investigation.”

Modern slavery sees people trapped in jobs where they may be paid little or no money, are unable to move around freely because they have their documents taken from them and have no means of escape, and they may be threatened with physical abuse.

If you have any information about human trafficking or modern slavery offences taking place, please call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report anonymously.

For more information about how to spot the signs of trafficking, find out more on: https://www.essex.police.uk/police-forces/essex-police/areas/essex-police/campaigns/campaigns/20192/human-trafficking/ or visit the websites of partner agencies https://www.stopthetraffik.org/ https://www.unseenuk.org/ https://justiceandcare.org/ and https://www.samspartnership.org.uk/

Advertisement

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]