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Eight arrested on suspicion of trafficking remain in custody

Eight arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and slavery remain in custody Credit: ITV West Country

Eight people arrested yesterday in connection with an investigation into slavery and human trafficking remain in custody. Police say they've now completed their searches of all of the addresses.

Police arrested eight people, five women and three men, on suspicion of trafficking people into the UK for the purpose of labour exploitation and on suspicion of money laundering.

Eight men, all suspected victims of human trafficking and Czech nationals, were recovered to safety and have been taken to a reception centre. Thirteen children, thought to be linked to the suspects, were found at the addresses by police and social services and have now been taken to a place of safety.

The simultaneous raids were part of Operation Triage, the largest operation of its kind carried out by Devon and Cornwall Police and partner agencies into adult labour exploitation.


Positive unemployment figures for South West

The latest jobs figures for the South West show 137,000 people were unemployed in our region for the months May to July 2014. This is a slight increase on the previous quarter of February to April when 136,000 were out of work.

The unemployment rate has risen 0.1% to 5.0%, which is still one of the lowest rates it's been for the last 6 years.

Across the whole of the UK unemployment fell by 146,000 to 2.02million in the three months to the end of the July. The unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, its lowest rate since the September to November 2008.

New owners of Bantham Estate revealed

Bantham Estate Credit: ITV West Country

The new owners of the Bantham Estate in South Devon have been revealed. It's been brought by The Great Tew Estate in Oxfordshire. It's cost £11.5 million and consists of more than 20,000 acres, a number of homes and a golf course.

We look forward to bringing another long period of family ownership to this estate, ensuring that the aspirations of the previous owners are preserved and that employees, tenants and visitors can continue to enjoy all that makes this village and wider estate so special.

– Nicholas Johnston from Great Tew Estate

September sunshine boosts tourism bookings

St Michael's Mount at Marazion in Cornwall - one of the West Country's most popular tourist attractions Credit: ITV News

The warm September sunshine is providing a late season boost to the region's tourism industry.

Some hoteliers are reporting a 30% increase in bookings compared to last year. Many in the industry are hoping the warm weather will help make up for a disappointing start to the year.


Job fears for the South West

Prospects look gloomy for the West Country's job seekers Credit: PA

Employers across every region of the country are expecting to take on more people over the next three months, except in the South West.

The figures come from the recruitment group Manpower UK.

It says heavy reliance on tourism and a jobs boom in recent years means growth in the South West has ground to a halt.

Lydia & Millie Cross become meningitis ambassadors

A North Devon schoolgirl is raising awareness of an infection that almost cost her and her sister their lives.

Lydia Cross from Braunton and her younger sister Millie are now ambassadors for the Meningitis Research foundation.

Lydia has made national news in recent years for dealing so well with her prosthetic legs after having both legs amputated below the knee. Millie, though, was the more seriously ill at the time.

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