Thirteen men arrested for slavery and immigration offences after raids

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Immigration vanImage copyright Herts Police
Image caption Five properties were raided in Hertfordshire and Barnet

Thirteen men have been arrested for suspected slavery and immigration offences following police raids in Hertfordshire and north London.

Six men were identified as potential victims of trafficking or slavery and were taken to a safe place.

More than 120 officers, immigration officials and fire fighters carried out the raids on five properties.

The police have described the victims as living in “appalling and unsafe conditions”.

In Hertfordshire, raids were carried out at a business premises on an industrial estate in London Road and a residential address in Park Close, Baldock, and a residential address in Winterscroft Road, Hoddesdon.

In Barnet a house in Kenerne Drive and a commercial property in Wycherley Crescent were raided.

Those arrested for immigration offences were dealt with by Immigration Enforcement. Those arrested on suspicion of trafficking or slavery offences are in police custody.

‘Look for signs’

The operation was jointly-led by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Tropic and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, with support from the National Crime Agency, immigration enforcement officers from the Home Office, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and local policing units.

The Red Cross provided support for the victims at the reception centre while the fire service condemned living quarters at the business address in Baldock due to safety concerns.

Det Insp Luke Whinnett said: “This operation shows that partnership commitment as different agencies have come together, acting on intelligence that we have received.

“Slavery and trafficking does occur in Hertfordshire and I would encourage people to look out for the signs and report any concerns they have to police.”

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