DETECTIVES have made 12 arrests in an anti-human trafficking operation – which police have named after Portsmouth.
Greater Manchester Police yesterday announced the arrests were made under Operation Portsmouth, with eight women and seven children taken to victim centres.
The male suspects, aged between 25 and 41, were subsequently bailed pending further investigations.
There is no link to Portsmouth the city, the police said.
A spokesman explained that the arrests were part of the ongoing Operation Portsmouth, which aims to identify and safeguard women and children believed to be victims of human trafficking for the purpose of exploitation.
It involves the police, Home Office Immigration Enforcement Criminal Investigations, the National Crime Agency, NHS, Social Services and The Red Cross.
Asked about the naming of Operation Portsmouth, the spokesman told The News it came from a list and was chosen at random.
She said: ‘It’s completely random. It came from our force intelligence branch.
‘There’s a database of names and it goes to the next one on the list.’
Detective Inspector Denise Pye said: ‘This multi-agency approach has allowed us to improve our ability to identify and safeguard vulnerable victims of trafficking and we will continue this joint approach in the future.’