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Thames Valley Police operation targets modern slavery – West Berkshire

News   •   Aug 17, 2018 09:07 BST

Thames Valley Police officers carried out an operation in Paices Hill, Aldermaston on Tuesday (14/8) in connection with modern slavery and forced labour.

As part of this intelligence-led operation, officers carried out safeguarding checks with those living within the community. They also conducted a search of premises, caravans, outbuildings and cars within the grounds.

The searches resulted in officers seizing a range of property believed to be stolen, including three touring caravans and range of horse tack, bridles and saddles.

Working in partnership with the RSPCA and local veterinarians, officers also completed a number of animal welfare checks during the operation.

A 30-year-old man from Aldermaston was arrested on suspicion of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

A 33-year-old woman from Nottingham was arrested on suspicion of theft of a caravan.

A 29-year-old man from Northolt, Ealing was also arrested on suspicion of theft of a caravan.

A 21-year-old man from Aldermaston was arrested on suspicion of theft of a caravan and criminal damage.

All four suspects have been released under investigation.

Officers are currently providing support to a 42-year-old man, who had become a victim of modern slavery.

Local Police Area Commander for West Berkshire, Superintendent Jim Weems, said: “We carried out this operation as part of ongoing investigations into offences of modern slavery.

“We take these offences very seriously and these arrests demonstrate that we will always investigate and prosecute offenders who carry out this type of crime.

“I would urge anyone who is aware of any kind of modern slavery or forced labour within the Thames Valley to report it to us by calling 101, or via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”

Notes to editors

Thames Valley Police is currently running an 18-month Hidden Harm campaign which focusses on raising awareness of abuse related crimes within our communities. For more information please visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm/

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