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Two arrested and eight women saved after police raids in Romford and Newham

Raids took place in Newham and Romford (credit: Metropolitan Police) 

Police have arrested two people and saved eight women following a series of early morning raids on brothels in East London. 

Officers targeted four addresses in Newham and one in Romford on Wednesday, 20 May. 

One suspect attacked officers with an axe before attempting to escape over a back wall. An officer suffered minor injuries to his hand as a result. 

Two Romanian nationals, including the attacker, were detained.

An axe used to attack a police officer (credit: Metropolitan Police)

A 24-year-old and 30-year-old were arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution. The 30-year-old was also detained on suspicion of attacking a police officer. 

A total of eight women, all Romanian nationals, were found inside the properties. Specially trained officers are now offering them support while they receive medical treatment. 

The Salvation Army will help safeguard the victims by offering them a place to stay and the chance to rebuild their lives. 

“I am pleased with the result of this multi-agency operation that took months of hard work to investigate and set up,” said Detective Inspector Nigel Penney.

“The Met is entirely committed to tackling these crimes and protect the most vulnerable of people in our communities. We will continue to work closely with our partners as we have on this particular operation, to target those involved in this criminality and prevent them from exploiting innocent individuals any further.”

Brothel Closure Orders have been applied to all of the properties. 

A man is arrested (credit: Metropolitan Police)

“Thanks to the continued efforts of the Metropolitan Police to rescue people being abused through slavery, we have the chance to reach these vulnerable people to get them the support they urgently need,” said Director of Anti-trafficking and Modern Slavery for The Salvation Army, Major Kathy Betteridge.

“All the victims rescued in the operation in London today, have been offered protective care and specialist support by The Salvation Army. Through a Government contract to provide support, the church and charity works with adult victims of slavery to ensure they have the very best chance to recover.

“During the current pandemic our safe houses and outreach services are still operating within Government guidelines, so we can continue to help begin to rebuild their lives. We have adapted the way we help them access the things they need, such as counselling, medical, legal and financial support, to protect them from infection.”

If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of modern slavery, you can call The Salvation Army’s 24-hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733. 

To report a suspicion or seek advice contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You can also report it police online at www.met.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org

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