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Fourth person arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences after raids at two care homes

One raid was carried out at Danygraig Nursing Home Credit: ITV Wales

A fourth person has been arrested following an investigation into modern slavery at two care homes.

A 37-year-old woman from the Rhymney area has been arrested on suspicion of modern day slavery offences and she remains in police custody at this time.

A 53-year-old man and a 64-year-old man from the Newport area and a 43-year-old man from Surrey were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery and related offences on Thursday. They have all been released on conditional police bail.

Gwent Police, supported by the National Crime Agency (NCA), carried out warrants on Thursday morning at Danygraig Nursing Home in Newport and Ashville Residential Care Home in Brithdir.

The search warrants were carried out following allegations that some staff working within these care homes are victims of modern slavery and related offences.

Credit: ITV Wales

A recent inspection at one of the care homes identified "ongoing issues with recruitment files".

At the last inspection it was identified that some care staff did not have birth certificates on their staff files. We discussed this with the manager who told us some people, particularly staff who had come from other countries to work, did not have a birth certificate so this had not been satisfactorily addressed.

We saw references were sought for people before employment commenced, but due to the fact some people had not worked in Wales or the United Kingdom before there was a higher incidence of character references rather than references from previous employers.

We therefore concluded the recruitment process is considered and managed but further improvements are required.

– Care Inspectorate Wales Report, 2019
Gwent Police were supported by the National Crime Agency in their investigation Credit: PA Images

Specialist Gwent Police officers and a Human Trafficking Team have set up a reception centre for potential victims to ensure victims are protected and receive appropriate support.

Gwent Police described the offences being investigated as "serious" and is urging anyone with information to get in touch.

Today’s action is part of an investigation into alleged offences against staff working at Danygraig Nursing Home and Ashville Residential Home.

Due to the nature of the investigation, we are fully aware the warrants that have taken place today may cause concern to residents of these homes and their families.

We would like to reassure them that this investigation is not as a result of any concerns raised regarding crimes committed against people residing in these homes.

The offences that are being investigated are serious and we would urge anyone with any information which could assist the team to contact Gwent Police on 101.

– Detective Chief Superintendent Nicky Brain

A spokesperson for Newport City Council said they are working to ensure continuation of care at the care homes.

We appreciate families may be concerned as a result of today’s events but we would like to reassure them that their loved ones are safe and their well-being is our priority.

We have been endeavouring to speak to all relatives of residents... but we also have dedicated numbers specially set up for them, if they want to contact us.

– Newport Council spokesperson
  • Relatives of residents of Dan-y-Graig Nursing Home – 07790 398488
  • Relatives of residents of Ashville Residential Care Homes – 01443 864778
  • Modern Day Slavery Help line - 08000 121 700