Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Totton farm slavery raid leads to arrest

Little Testwood Farm
Image caption Police executed a warrant at Little Testwood Farm on Salisbury Road, Calmore

Eight men believed to have been held as slaves on a Hampshire farm have been rescued by police.

Officers executed a warrant at 06:00 at Little Testwood Farm on Salisbury Road, Calmore in Hampshire.

They rescued the men, aged between 21 and 46, who are a mix of Romanian, Latvian and Polish nationalities.

A man, 27 and from Luton, was later arrested on suspicion of knowingly holding another person in slavery or servitude and remains in custody.

Det Insp Phil Scrase, from Southampton CID, said: "We'll take swift action against anyone suspected of exploiting vulnerable members of society for their own gain.

"We know that people are being trafficked, exploited and enslaved across the country, including here in Hampshire."

He added anyone with concerns or information should contact police.

"For example," he said, "if you're being offered cheap labour that's too good to be true for the amount it costs, ask yourself: 'Who's really paying?'," he said.

The farm is believed to house a caravan site, and is near the grounds of Totton and Eling FC.

Police also recovered industrial equipment believed to have been stolen.

Hampshire Constabulary has taken the rescued men to a survivor reception centre where they are receiving emotional and practical support.

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