EIGHT PEOPLE FREED IN SLAVERY OPERATION
100 officers called in for early morning raid at home in Iver
EIGHT suspected “slaves” have been freed following a raid involving more than 100 officers at a home in Iver.
The early morning raid at the home in Love Lane, resulted in three arrests in connection with allegations of modern slavery.
The raid, led by Thames Valley Police and supported by the National Crime Agency, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, followed a tip-off made about alleged modern slavery at the address.
The police force believes that the alleged slaves were being forced to carry out labour at building sites.
Detective Inspector James Mather, who led the operation, stressed in a statement to the media that the investigation is still in its early stages, and that “considerable work to identify any further victims will follow”.
Detective Inspector Mather’s statement added: “This operation has safeguarded vulnerable people in society and a number of arrests have been made. Modern slavery is the exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Officers continue to work closely with our partner agencies to ensure those who carry out this activity are disrupted and any victims are supported.
“Modern slavery could be happening in your community. It is vitally important that anyone who notices any suspicious activity or is worried about someone should come forward and report concerns as victims may not always recognise themselves as victims.
“The signs of modern slavery aren’t always obvious but there are some that you may notice. These include people being withdrawn, unable to make eye contact, or being reluctant to talk to strangers.
“Their appearance may be unkempt, they may be malnourished, or showing signs of physical or psychological injury.
“They may also have inappropriate clothing or equipment for their job, be working long hours for little or no pay. Their accommodation may be overcrowded and poorly maintained. They may lack some basic freedoms, such as not having access to their identity or travel documents, and have their movements restricted.
“Keeping people safe from harm is all of our responsibility. To make a report please call Thames Valley Police’s non-emergency number, 101. If you have any concerns about modern slavery – whether you need to get help, report a suspicion or seek advice – please call the modern slavery helpline on 08000 121 700.”
Two men; aged 49 and 42, and a 28-year-old woman, all from Iver were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences and remain in police custody.