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Crime

Modern slavery operation leads to 3 arrests in Horley

The operation, which was called a ‘success’, also resulted in the seizure of suspected stolen vehicles and being able to reunite a dog, also believed to have been stolen, with its owner.

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Three people were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences on Monday (14 May) following a multi-agency operation at an address in Shipley Bridge, Horley.

The two men and a woman were also arrested on suspicion of fraud offences and being in possession of a stolen car, a caravan and a dog as a result of the initiative, known as Operation Memory.

More news: Multi-million-pound Crawley infrastructure improvement schemes

30 Surrey Police officers were involved in the operation which took place in cooperation with Tandridge District Council, Surrey Trading Standards and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service.

The clampdown focussed on establishing whether exploitation through slavery, poor living conditions or low and non-existent wages was taking place.

Enquiries remain ongoing to establish whether anyone at the address is a victim of exploitation.
The three people who were arrested have been interviewed and released under investigation, pending further enquiries. The suspected stolen vehicles have been seized, while the dog has been returned to its rightful owner.

Neighbourhood Detective Inspector Jackie Elkins said:

“The warrant was carried out following information that occupants were involved in criminal activity and that other occupants at the address were being exploited. Our investigation remains ongoing to establish whether any modern slavery offences have taken place.

“The operation was a success, resulting in three arrests, the seizure of suspected stolen vehicles, as well as being able to reunite a dog, also believed to have been stolen, with its owner.

“Modern slavery is a threat and is an offence that is happening around us in our local communities. This operation proves that protecting the vulnerable and exploited victims of this horrific crime and pursuing those who commit it is something we take extremely seriously.

“I urge anyone who has any concerns about activity relating to individuals being forced to work against their will for low or no wages, or being controlled or mistreated, to report it to us.”

Anyone with concerns about individuals who may be involved are urged to call us on 101 (999 in an emergency) or go to https://surrey.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/human-trafficking/

Alternatively, suspicions can be raised anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

If you think you are a victim of modern slavery please seek help. The Modern Slavery Helpline can assist you to understand what help is available including information, advice and ways to access support. The helpline is confidential and you don’t have to give your name if you don’t want to. For more information, visit https://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/ or call 08000 121 700

The Salvation Army can also help. Call their 24 hour helpline on 0300 3038151 or visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/human-trafficking

Crime

Crawley drug dealer jailed

Dealer gets four and half years in prison.

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A man has been jailed for four and a half year for drug dealing and possession of knives and a CS canister in Crawley.

Michael Murray, 26, of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine, money laundering, possession of a CS canister and one count of possession of a bladed article at an earlier hearing on 26 March.

He was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday (18 May).

The court heard that police were called to a hotel in Goffs Park Road, Crawley on 27 February this year to a report of an aggressive guest who was refusing to leave.

When the officers went into his hotel room they found Murray with drugs and a subsequent search of the room found an envelope containing several hundred wraps of cocaine with a street value of approximately £9,000, a quantity of cannabis, nearly £10,000 cash, drug dealing paraphernalia and a canister of CS gas.

Murray was arrested and later charged.

Detective Constable Melanie Fox said: “Murray was found with a substantial quantity of drugs, cash and weapons. We are committed to disrupting the supply of drugs in Crawley. This sentence shows that anyone convicted of dealing drugs in Sussex can expect a jail term.”

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