Police have raided dozens of brothels across Kent and Sussex as part of a national crackdown on the criminal gangs trafficking young women into the sex trade. Four eastern European girls are being offered the help of welfare services after the raid in Ashford. In many cases victims are forced into prostitution, in what police describe as a form of modern-day slavery.
Detective Chief Superintendent Rob Fordham from Kent Police issued an appeal for the public to report any suspicious activity.Position12reorder
‘Operation Perceptional has been coordinated by the National Crime Agency and although this is very much business as usual for the force, we are keen to play our part and raise awareness.
‘Kent is the gateway to Europe and does provide criminals the opportunity to traffic individuals through the region. However, this is a national problem which we are working hard with our partners to target.
‘Prostitution is a hidden crime, it is rare that victims come forward and as a consequence of that it is important that people come forward with information if they have concerns about a suspected brothel operating in their neighbourhood.
‘It is often the case a house, flat or bungalow is rented for a short period of time and has two or more women residing in it. There will be a steady stream of male visitors who stay for a short time and periodically the occupants of the property will change.
‘The woman working within the brothels are often brought into the country under the false pretence of working in the beauty or child care industry, they are intimidated and have their passports taken away before being forced into prostitution. They are some of the vulnerable people that we come across and I would ask anyone who has information that may help us safeguard the future wellbeing of these individuals, to come forward.’
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