Eight men rescued from English farm in slavery investigation

Police arrest one man on servitude allegations after eastern Europeans found

File photo. Police have rescued eight men from a farm following an investigation into potential slavery and servitude in England. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

File photo. Police have rescued eight men from a farm following an investigation into potential slavery and servitude in England. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 14:42

Police have rescued eight men from a farm following an investigation into potential slavery and servitude in England.

Officers from Hampshire Police, supported by the National Crime Agency, executed a warrant at Little Testwood Farm in Salisbury Road, Calmore, Southampton, at 6am today.

The men are aged between 21 and 46 and are a mix of Romanian, Latvian and Polish nationalities.

They have been taken to a survivor reception centre where they are receiving emotional and practical support.

The centre is run by officers from Amberstone, Hampshire Constabulary’s specialist interview support team, with assistance from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Hampshire County Council and the NHS.

Police also recovered industrial equipment which is believed to have been stolen.

A 27-year-old man, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was arrested on suspicion of knowingly holding another person in slavery or servitude and remains in custody.

“As this morning’s action shows, we’ll take swift action against anyone suspected of exploiting vulnerable members of society for their own gain,” Detective Inspector Phil Scrase said.

“We know that people are being trafficked, exploited and enslaved across the country including here in Hampshire,” he said.

“I’d urge anyone with concerns, suspicions or information that could help our inquiries to contact us in confidence.

“For example, if you’re being offered cheap labour that’s too good to be true for the amount it costs, ask yourself: who’s really paying?”

PA