Wickford/Tiptree: Arrests during modern slavery warrants
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Officers have made five arrests, seized £20,000 in cash, and safeguarded 12 people and nine dogs during warrants at addresses across Essex in connection with an investigation into modern slavery (MSHT).
Officers executed warrants at around 5am today, Tuesday 14 December, which included two at Hovefields Avenue, Wickford, and at an address in Kelvedon Road, Tiptree
Four men – aged 76, 42, 36, and 35 – have all been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.
The 35 year-old man has also been arrested on suspicion of rape.
Another 42 year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault.
Officers also seized £20,000 in cash and safeguarded 12 people.
Nine dogs – an adult and eight puppies – were also found and have been safeguarded.
Detective Chief Inspector Justin Beacher said:
“Today’s arrests have been the result an intelligence-led operation into modern slavery. “It’s a term most people are not familiar with, but sadly it means that some people do not have the freedom to make their own life-choices. “Modern slavery has no place in Essex and will not be tolerated. “To tackle this issue, we work with our partners to support victims and would ask anyone who is, or who knows someone who may be a victim of MSHT, to tell us so we can make it stop. “Anyone who participates in this cruel, inhumane practice should know that we will arrest them and bring them to justice.”
Leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Andrew Baggott, said:
“I am grateful to our colleagues at Essex Police who have the council’s full and unwavering support in this matter. “Our minds also turn to the terrible situation for the victims and Basildon Council will continue its support of Essex Police in safeguarding those affected and ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice. “I am proud of the resilience, determination and grit demonstrated by all involved.”
Debi Lloyd, European Operational Coordinator at Justice and Care, said:
“Modern slavery is all around us, which is why today's warrants are so important. “We are delighted to be able to join with Essex Police on the operation - providing support to those who have been safeguarded. “We will ensure they have access to the help that they need and we hope help engage them with the investigation.”
Modern slavery sees people trapped in jobs where they may be paid little or no money, are unable to move around freely because they have their documents taken from them and have no means of escape, and they may be threatened with physical abuse.
To tackle this issue, Essex police work with partners to support victims of MSHT.
If you have any information about human trafficking or modern slavery offences taking place, please tell us.
Call 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report anonymously.