Four men and two woman have been arrested for modern slavery offences following a pre-planned operation by officers from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command.
Officers have been working in conjunction with the Romanian authorities on this enquiry.
Five warrants were executed this morning, Tuesday, 30 March, in Station Road, Hindes Road and Stirling Road in Harrow. They were carried out with assistance from officers from the Territorial Support Group (TSG).
Those arrested are aged between 22 and 37 years-old. They have been arrested for a variety of offences, including on suspicion of holding a person in slavery, human trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering.
One address visited in was identified as a brothel.
14 women who were found at the addresses are now receiving support from specialist officers.
Searches at the addresses are ongoing. Enquiries continue.
Acting Detective Inspector Nick Bland from Central Specialist Crime, said:
“Unfortunately, this type of exploitation is still happening across London and the UK. The Met’s modern slavery team have been working around the clock to identify people involved in sexual exploitation.
“This operation is one of many where we safeguard hundreds of victims each year.
“We need the public’s help as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously, and protection and support is available.
“Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of sexual exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network.
“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising. As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.
“Victims are often told the police and authorities in the UK are not to be trusted and with limited English the victims are unable to seek help, even if they want to.”
If you suspect that you, or someone you have come into contact with, may be a victim of modern slavery or trafficking and require support, please call The Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733. This is the best way to get support to anyone you suspect might be a victim
You can also report a suspicion or seek advice through the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
You can also report to the police online at www.met.police.uk or by calling 101, in case of an emergency dial 999. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.