Eight Hungarian nationals have been arrested in Burnley as part of a crackdown on so-called modern slavery.
Eight people, aged between 19 and 30 and from Hungary, were arrested for immigration offences on Talbot Street in Burnley. They will now be dealt with by Immigration.
The activity took place between Monday June 26th and Friday June 30th and was led by the National Crime Agency, with activity taking place in several force areas across the UK. There was also activity across Europe.
The week was organised to clamp down on those who sexually exploit others for financial gain, and in particular those who use the internet to ‘trade’ in human beings. The internet is often used to advertise the services of those who have been trafficked and are being exploited.
In total officers visited 15 premises across Lancashire, including four in Blackburn, three in Burnley, two in Blackpool and six in Preston.
Sixteen people were given safeguarding advice and a further four women, all Romanian nationals, were removed from sexual exploitation.
Two of these were aged 20 and were removed from an address on Hufling Lane in Burnley. All are being safeguarded pending return to their families in Romania.
Sergeant Stuart Peall, of Lancashire Police, said: “We were more than happy to support the National Crime Agency’s week of action and we are pleased at how successful it has been.
“We hope that as well as disrupting modern slavery we have also raised awareness of it, and members of the public will now know the signs to look out for and where they can report their concerns.
“If anybody has concerns about modern slavery in their area, or indeed believes they are being exploited themselves, we would urge them to contact us as soon as they can.”
If you think someone is in immediate danger you should call 999, or if you suspect slavery is happening but there is no immediate threat to life police can be reached on 101.
To pass on information anonymously you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or complete an anonymous form online www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
Lancashire Victims Services can offer help and support. Contact them on 0300 323 0085.