Herts Arrests into Human Trafficking

19 October 2010, 11:45 | Updated: 19 October 2010, 11:54

Four people have been arrested in Hertfordshire and London after a number of homes were raided this morning (Tuesday 19th October) into human trafficking.

A male and female who were arrested and live in Hertfordshire were arrested at an address in Moor Park near Rickmansworth on suspicion of forcing a 37-year old woman to work round the clock and live in inhumane conditions/

They are also being held on suspicion of assault and trafficking offences.

Its believed the victim was originally trafficked to the UK in 2005 where she was forced to work at two properties in London was never paid for her work before she was moved to another property in Moor Park.

Police say the woman, who is believed to be from India, is now being looked after by a charitable trust.

Two further arrests were made in London. A woman was arrested at an address in St Johns Wood, and a man at an address in Harrow.

All four suspects are in custody at a north London police station.

Detective Chief Inspector Shirley Sargent, who led the investigation for Hertfordshire Constabulary, said:

"This is part of a long painstaking enquiry and we have been working closely with our Metropolitan Police colleagues. They have also made a number of arrests and the close collaboration between the forces shows that criminals can not escape justice.

"The victim has been forced to work in a 'threatening and abusive environment', which is totally unacceptable in our society. The luring of persons into the country with the promise of legitimate work and a better life, only to be held in what is, essentially, modern-day slavery is, regrettably, taking place in our community.

"Human trafficking, particularly in the form of servitude, is a hidden crime and we will do everything we can to ensure this immoral trade is stopped, but in order to do this we also need help from the public.”

Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Hyland, from the MPS Trafficking and Prostitution Unit, said:

“This operation illustrates how working in partnership with non-government organisations can result in the identification of trafficking and the arrest of those alleged to have committed offences. The Trafficking and Prostitution Unit is committed to supporting victims of this type of crime and would encourage victims or those who suspect trafficking to report the matter to police or a support agency.”