Ten suspected victims of modern slavery have been discovered on a farm in the UK.
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 26th.
Officers 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.
Ten of the people were subsequently safeguarded and taken to a reception centre, according to a spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police.
All have been offered support under the national referral mechanism for victims of modern slavery.
“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.
Detective Chief Inspector, Louisa Glynn, said: “Sadly, we know that modern slavery and exploitation is going on all around us.”
“We are doing all we can to protect victims and dismantle the organised crime groups behind this exploitation, whether they exploit people through the sex industry, county lines drug dealing or in sectors such as agriculture or construction.
“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.”
Protecting vulnerable workers
GLAA Senior Investigating Officer, Jennifer Baines, said: “Protecting vulnerable workers is our top priority and taking decisive action with partners is key in ensuring that potential victims of exploitation are safeguarded and given the support that they need.
“We would strongly encourage the public to be aware of the signs of exploitation, especially in these unprecedented times, and more importantly report their concerns to us and our partners,” Baines added.