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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 teen girl one of four arrested during police drugs operation

A man and three teenagers were arrested during a drugs operation at The Level in Brighton over two days.

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A 15-year-old Hove boy and a 16-year-old girl from Crawley were arrested by police officers on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of cannabis and burglary with intent to steal and a 16-year-old girl from Brighton, was detained on suspicion of burglary with intent to steal on Thursday (16 August). They were questioned and released under investigation.

On Friday (17 August) a 23-year-old Brighton man was arrested after he ran from police officers through the children’s play area at The Level. He was detained on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis after a large quantity of the drug worth several hundreds of pounds was seized (pictured) along with cash and other drugs paraphernalia. He was also arrested on suspicion of possession of heroin. He has also been released under investigation.

Chief Inspector Rachel Swinney said:

“Our prevention officers, who play a crucial role in helping tackle local issues, have been targeting suspected drug dealers at The Level using high visibility patrols, covert patrols and our passive drugs dog. We are also trying to identify drug users to direct them to agencies who can support them.

“If anyone suspects drug dealing is going on or has any information about it please contact us.”

You can report suspicious behaviour or drug dealing at our website or ring 101.
For advice and information about drugs see the Sussex Police drug advice page.

* Prevention teams play a crucial role in helping tackle local issues and where possible prevent them happening in the first place. The recent council tax increase will be used to strengthen these local teams.

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