Five modern slavery arrests in Sussex
18th May 2018
Five people have been arrested by police on suspicion of modern slavery in a multi-agency operation involving the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) which is the biggest of its kind in Sussex.
Officers made the arrests at addresses in St Leonards and Hastings today (Friday 18 May) as part of an investigation into alleged modern slavery around the provision of workers from Eastern Europe to care homes in East Sussex and Kent.
Two women aged 32 and 28 were arrested at the St Leonards address, alongside a 37-year-old man.
A 24-year-old woman and 26-year-old man were arrested at the Hastings address.
All were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences and are currently in custody for interview.
Eight people found at three other local addresses have been taken to a nearby special reception centre. They are being treated as victims of crime and are being assessed to establish their employment, housing and any related welfare needs.
Sussex Police have said that the investigation focuses on allegations that a locally-based employment agency has been hiring mainly Romanian workers, charging them for insufficient training, housing them in inadequate accommodation, charging them excessive rent and placing them as care staff in local care homes.
The agency is also alleged to not pay the workers the minimum wage.
Police have added that there is no evidence that the care homes, all of which are properly registered and lawfully operated, are subjects of this investigation.
The employees involved are not engaged in the direct medical care of any residents at the homes.
If you have concerns about labour exploitation, speak to the GLAA’s intelligence team on 0800 432 0804 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the full media release here https://www.sussex.police.uk/news/five-arrests-in-hastings-multi-agency-modern-slavery-investigation/