Three arrested in operation tackling modern day slavery

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THREE men have been arrested as part of an operation tackling modern day slavery.

Officers visited nine addresses linked with the sex trade to give safeguarding advice and to gather information about trafficking and organised crime.

Alongside our partners we are showing potential victims that there is help and support available to escape from a life of modern slavery.

Detectivce inspector Tim Chappell

They were joined by sexual health and modern day slavery support workers.

They visited addresses in Portsmouth, Southampton and Basingstoke as part of the operation, which started on Monday.

Police said two men 54 and 31, of no fixed address, and a 48-year-old man from Southampton, were arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution.

All were released under investigation.

Detective inspector Tim Chappell said: ‘This activity focuses heavily on safeguarding potential victims of modern slavery.

‘We have a specialist team in force trained to work with victims of modern slavery, these officers will be leading the visits.

‘Alongside our partners we are showing potential victims that there is help and support available to escape from a life of modern slavery.

‘They may come from countries where the relationship with the police and other authorities is very different to the UK and may not know who to turn to or how to contact them for help.

‘Although the focus of this operation is not on prosecuting the commercial sex worker, we have made arrests in connection with controlling exploitation.’

Anyone with information about modern day slavery in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is encouraged to contact police on 101.