19/4/2017 Police have today (Wednesday, April 19th) arrested 8 people as part of an investigation into human trafficking spanning across the country.
The seven men and one woman were arrested following a series of early morning raids at addresses in Blackburn, Preston and Blackpool in Lancashire, Gateshead in Northumbria and Evesham, near Worcester.
They have all been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to traffic for sexual exploitation and conspiring to incite prostitution.
They are all currently in custody.
Eight women were found inside the addresses and were suspected of being trafficked to the UK from Romania for the purposes of prostitution. Safeguarding and welfare issues are being addressed,
The arrests, one of the biggest operations of its kind in the country, follow a long running proactive investigation led by Lancashire Constabulary’s human trafficking and modern slavery team Op Proteus, a dedicated team working to identify both the victims and perpetrators of trafficking and slavery across Lancashire.