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    Tuesday, 11 September 2018

    100 police officers smash 'forced labour gang' to free eight suspected slaves

    This is the moment police rescued eight people and arrested three suspects after uncovering a modern slavery ring today. 
    Shocking footage shows a suspected forced labour gang being led away in handcuffs after more than 100 officers carried out a huge raid on a home in Iver.
    People thought to have been forced into slavery can also be seen clutching bags as they are placed into a people-carrier in south Buckinghamshire.
    Officers detained suspects after responding to reports of forced labour being used on building sites.
    The arrests were made in connection with modern slavery warrants carried out at the residential property and eight people, believed to be victims of modern slavery, were safeguarded by the force.
    Thames Valley Police led the operation alongside the National Crime Agency, and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.
    Detective Inspector James Mather, leading the operation, said: '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.
    'We are in the early stages of the investigation and considerable work to identify any further victims will follow.'
    Approximately 100 officers were involved in the operation which took place following allegations made about forced labour being carried out at building sites
    Police vehicles are pictured in Iver, Buckinghamshire after a National Crime Agency operation to rescue 'slaves'
    Det Insp Mather added: '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 These include people being withdrawn, unable to make eye contact, or being reluctant to talk to strangers.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.'
    Det Insp Mather added: '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.'

    Pictures from the scene show a number of properties at the site behind a gated entrance 
    Tom Dowdall, NCA Deputy Director, said: 'Tackling the threat of modern slavery and human trafficking, including the safeguarding of the vulnerable, remains a priority for UK law enforcement and multi-agency operations such as this are key to improving our intelligence picture.
    'Together, we're using all the tools at our disposal to disrupt the organise criminals who seek to exploit the most vulnerable people in our society for profit and bring them to justice.
    'I would urge anyone who sees the potential signs of exploitation to report their concerns to the modern slavery helpline on 08000 121 700.'
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