Modern slavery – police swoop on suspects
Arrests made in Farnham Royal and Maidenhead
The arrests are in connection with warrants carried out in Lillibrooke Crescent, Maidenhead, and in Crown Lane, Farnham Royal.
A number of people, believed to be victims of modern slavery, were also safeguarded by the force.
Approximately 100 officers were involved in the operation which took place following allegations about the theft of car parts and concerns about the welfare of residents at the sites.
The warrants were carried out simultaneously with a separate warrant in Clensmore Street, Kidderminster, in the West Mercia Police area.
Thames Valley Police was supported by partner agencies, including Trading Standards and the National Crime Agency.
Detective Inspector James Mather, of Force CID, leading the operation said: “We are in the early stages of the investigation and we will now work to trace the owners of items which have been stolen from across the country, and continue to identify offenders.
“This has been a positive example of partnership working, and I would like to thank all of the partner agencies which have been involved, including the local authority, for their assistance.
“Working closely with our partners in local authorities, social services and the other emergency services, we aim to achieve better knowledge, and suitable resourcing to disrupt and prevent the work of organised crime gangs and to provide safeguarding to the innocent victims caught in the middle. It follows our recent launch of Stronghold, which is a forcewide commitment to reducing the levels of serious and organised crime in our region.
“This operation safeguarded particularly vulnerable people in our society and illegal firearms have now been taken off our streets.”
A 27-year-old man from Farnham Royal, a 25-yearold woman from Maidenhead and a 31-year-old man of no fixed abode were arrested on suspicion of theft and on suspicion of holding a person in slavery or servitude and requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.
A 42-year-old man from Farnham Royal was arrested on suspicion of theft. All of those arrested were released under investigation.
If you are aware of any suspicious activity in your community please call Thames Valley Police’s 24hour enquiry centre on 101.
Alternatively if you have any concerns about modern slavery – if you need to get help, report a suspicion or seek advice – please call the modern slavery helpline on 08000 121 700.