Three due in court over slavery crimes after Hamble travellers’ site raid

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THREE people were today due in court accused of slavery crimes following a raid at an unauthorised travellers’ site.

John Conners, 26, of Thomas Lewis Way, Swaythling, Southampton, Jerry Conners, 19, of Beachfield Road, Swindon, and Eileen Conners, 59, of Oaks Caravan Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, are charged with offences under section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

The charges relate to holding someone in slavery or servitude, or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

They were arrested after about 120 police officers raided the travellers’ site off Ensign Way at Hamble, near Southampton.

A fourth suspect, a 25-year-old Bedfordshire man, was arrested on suspicion of public order offences following the raid.

He was later released on bail pending further inquiries.

Hampshire Constabulary’s Force Support Unit executed a series of warrants with local officers and CID teams, dog units and Scientific Services as part of Operation Helm, at about 5.3am on Friday.

They searched caravans and vehicles linked to the encampment.

The trio were due to appear before Southampton magistrates today