Anti-slavery raids in city target nail bars and brothel

Uninsured driver who was ‘all over the place’ has car seized near Waterlooville

  • Nail bars, possible brothel and Thai massage parlour targeted in anti-slavery raids
  • Multi-agency crackdown comes as police launch partnership to tackle modern slavery
  • Four premises were searched in Portsmouth – no arrests were made
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NAIL bars were raided in a police crackdown on modern slavery in the city.

Detectives also searched a Thai massage parlour and a possible brothel in Portsmouth in a co-ordinated day of action trying to find victims.

The raids come just days after an anti-slavery partnership was launched by Hampshire Constabulary and Simon Hayes, the county’s police and crime commissioner.

Four premises in the city were raided with two potential immigration issues identified and one referral made to HM Revenue & Customs.

No-one was arrested in the raids carried out on Tuesday.

Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson, police lead for modern slavery and human trafficking, said: ‘The visits we conducted this week are important for two reasons – firstly to engage with people who could potentially be working as modern-day slaves and ask them to consider speaking to supporting agencies, including the police. Secondly, to make employers aware of the law and their obligation to their employees.’

Anyone with information relating to modern slavery in Hampshire or on the Isle of Wight is urged to report it to us

Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson

He added: ‘We have been working together with our partners since 2013 to tackle modern slavery in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

‘Last year, we had 40 potential slavery offences identified. However we are well aware that there is a hidden picture we have yet to uncover.

‘The Modern Slavery Partnership launched by the police and crime commissioner this week is a key part of this, raising awareness of what modern slavery is and encouraging us all to speak out.

‘Anyone with information relating to modern slavery in Hampshire or on the Isle of Wight is urged to report it to us.’

Raids were also carried out at three premises in Southampton with two referrals made to HMRC. Two premises were searched in Winchester. One referral was made to HMRC in that raid.

Officers from the force along with HMRC and UK Borders and Immigration spoke to a number of people following the action.

It comes after The News revealed slavery victims had been trafficked through Portsmouth Continental Port and children had been put into care after being discovered alone at the port.

Organised prostitution has also been investigated in the city with police trying to identify victims.

Hampshire chief constable Andy Marsh has said the county has a problem with slavery and it is only now being recognised as significant.

The Modern Slavery Partnership is urging people to pledge their help to uncover the hidden crime. For more, see modernslaverypartnership.org.uk