U.K. Slavery Raid
September 12, 2011 by staff
Police said they found 24 men, British and Eastern Europeans who live in “terribly dirty and cramped” conditions at the site to travelers in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.
Some had been there for 15 years and, at worst, they lived in transportation of horses, kennels and sheds, police said.
Four men and one woman were arrested Sunday in an act of slavery introduced last year after an operation of more than 200 police officers, said the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit. The woman was released on bail and will be questioned later, police said Monday.
Many of the men on the site seems to have been recruited from homeless soup kitchens and offices of benefits for the unemployed by promising a salary of 80 pounds per day, free food and accommodation, police said.
But officials said their investigation suggested that the men had been detained against their will and forced to work without pay and little food.
Many were down on their luck may have been alcoholics or had no family support, and were threatened with violence if they tried to leave.
Some escaped and went to the police complaints dating back to 2008, police told reporters.
The force said the men were rescued at the site included eight from Britain, three from Poland, a Lithuanian and Latvian one.
Local legislator Andrew Selous said questions had to be asked by the police, local authorities and especially those who use slave labor assumed.
“The questions must be asked by the image of intelligence, who knew what, when and why the action is, frankly, has not had before,” said Member of Parliament for South West Bedfordshire Sky News.
Detective Chief Inspector Sean O’Neil, Unit Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime said in a statement: “Men who are at the place were in poor physical health and living conditions in outrageously dirty narrow. ”
“We believe that some of them had been living and working there in a state of virtual slavery, some just a few weeks and others up to 15 years,” he said.
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