Devon

Three Vietnamese rescued over potential slavery, police say

A girl sitting on the floor, hiding her face Image copyright Science Photo Library

Three Vietnamese people, including a youth believed to be under 18, have been rescued by police during a multi-agency crackdown on modern slavery.

The trio were rescued as part of Operation Hornsman, a pan-European week of action against labour exploitation involving five police forces.

Police said the two males and female were being given "help and support".

A total of 24 people were arrested during the operation which was run by the The National Crime Agency.

'Encouraging' results

Officers from Devon and Cornwall, Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire police forces were involved in visiting car washes, nail bars, take away outlets, a massage parlour and a residential property as part of the operation.

Devon and Cornwall Police chief constable Shaun Sawyer, the national policing lead for modern slavery, said the results were "very encouraging".

He said: "Victims may not regard themselves as being exploited, and are often reluctant to talk to police. If anyone suspects modern slavery is happening in their area we urge them to contact the police."

As part of the operation Devon and Cornwall Police arrested two people for modern slavery and money laundering offences, and two people for immigration offences.

A 47-year-old woman was arrested by Avon and Somerset Police for a slavery offence and money laundering, Gloucester Constabulary arrested five Albanian nationals for immigration offences and Wiltshire Police made 14 arrests for immigration-related offences.

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