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  1. ITV Report

Four men arrested after modern slavery raid on Gateshead factory

Four people have been arrested after a Gateshead factory was raided this morning as part of an investigation into modern day slavery.

An estimated 90 employees have now been taken to a reception centre where they will be spoken to by officers to establish if they are victims of exploitation.

Northumbria Police arrested four men, aged 42, 41, 40 and 29, on suspicion of offences under the Modern Day Slavery Act. They currently remain in police custody.

The factory is based off Nest Road on the banks of the River Tyne.

Police were called to the scene after receiving concerns about the welfare of staff employed there.

Credit: PA
  • Inspector Michael Robson, of the Gateshead Central Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

This has been a significant operation and now we will take time to speak to all the employees at factory to establish if any criminal offences have been committed.

I have no doubt that residents in Gateshead will be shocked to hear about suspected slavery offences on their doorstep but this type of offending does exist.

There are individuals out there who are trafficking workers into this country and exploiting them for their own financial benefit and we will work hard to put that to a stop.

We need everyone to be alive to the fact that people are being put into servitude in our local communities. Everyone has a role to play in helping to stop this offending.

If you have concerns that a person or group of people may have be victims of slavery then please contact police or ring the Modern Slavery helpline. Your action could end up saving a life.

– Gateshead Police

The reception centre has been facilitated by Gateshead Council, the Gangland Masters Labour Abuse Authority and the British Red Cross are also there to offer any support to the employees.

  • British Red Cross operations manager for emergency response in the North of England, Robert Colburn said:

Our trained staff and volunteers have been on hand to provide emotional support, as well as practical necessities such as clothing, refreshments and first aid.

The Red Cross works alongside emergency services across the UK to help those in crisis.

– British Red Cross

Anyone who has information that may assist the police investigation, or anyone who has information about Modern Day Slavery, is asked to call police on 101 quoting log 140 24/04/19.

You can also report information online at www.northumbria.police.uk or call the Modern Slavery helpline on 08000 121 700.