U.K. Slavery Raid Rescues 24 People, Nets Five Suspects
A slavery raid in the United Kingdom rescued 24 people in horrible conditions and arrest five suspects, according to the BBC.
The raid, which happened near the town of Leighton Buzzard in the county of Bedfordshire, was prompted by an April escape by eight men, who later told police of the conditions in the caravan site where they were held.
With intelligence gathered by the Serious Organized Crime Organization’s Human Trafficking Center, the police successfully raided the camp, where victims said that they were forced to work round the clock in squalor and threatened with violence if they left the area.
However, according to the Guardian, nine of the 24 rescued by the police are refusing to cooperate with the authorities, with one of them calling the raid “complete rubbish.”
"Those people who we continue to help are appreciative of the support that is on offer, but it will take some time to work through with them what has happened," said detective Sean O’Neil of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire major crimes unit investigating the incident.
O’Neil told the Guardian that he is confident the raid broke the criminal network of forced slavery.
"The new legislation [against forced slavery] has allowed the investigation more scope and takes into account emotional rather than physical harm," O'Neil said to the Guardian. "I am confident that while the investigation is in its early stages this is a family-run 'business' and is an organized crime group that has been broken up by the Netwing operation."