Arrests made after ‘modern slaves’ discovered on Bedfordshire farm
10 suspected victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded after they were discovered living in a farm building in Bedfordshire, England, local police have confirmed.
In a statement on the matter, Bedfordshire Police said:
“Police officers were flagged down by two men on a rural road on the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire border at around 9:30pm on Friday, June 26.
Police visited the address the men had come from and established that 13 men and a pregnant woman were staying at the property. All those at the property had travelled to the UK from Romania.
10 of the people were subsequently safeguarded and taken to a reception centre. All have been offered support under the national referral mechanism for victims of modern slavery, the police statement added.
Two men in their 40s and two men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and have been released on bail, pending further enquiries.
Subsequent enquiries were then made by police alongside the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) at an address in Lincolnshire, where a number of further potential victims were identified.
A woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and remain in police custody.
Commenting, detective chief inspector Louisa Glynn said:
Sadly, we know that modern slavery and exploitation is going on all around us.
“Our transport links and demographics make us particularly susceptible to it – almost 400 potential victims were identified in the county last year, the fifth highest of all UK police force areas.
“This is a stark reminder that the abhorrence of slavery still exists and I would urge people to get in touch with us if they have any suspicions.”