Six people have been arrested after 10 suspected victims of modern slavery were found living in a farm building in Bedfordshire.
Police officers were flagged down by two men on a rural road on the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire border at about 9.30pm on Friday June 26.
Officers visited the address the men had come from and found 13 men and a pregnant woman who had all travelled to the UK from Romania.
Ten were safeguarded and taken to a reception centre.
Two men in their 40s and two men in their 20s were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and have been released on bail, pending further enquiries.
Police and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) also searched an address in Lincolnshire where a number of further potential victims were identified.
A woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking and remain in police custody.
GLAA senior investigating officer Jennifer Baines said: “Modern slavery and labour abuse sadly exist in communities across the country. In the last year alone, we identified more than 15,000 potential victims of exploitation, which highlights the scale of the challenge we face in tackling the problem.
“Joint operations such as this are therefore crucial in not only rescuing some of the most hidden and at risk people in society, but also disrupting the often organised criminal behaviour behind the exploitation.
“We would strongly encourage the public to be aware of the signs of exploitation, especially in these unprecedented times, and more importantly report their concerns to us and our partners.”
Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Glynn of Bedfordshire Police said Bedfordshire’s transport links and demographics made the area ‘particularly susceptible’ to modern slavery and human trafficking.
Almost 400 potential victims were identified in the county last year, the fifth highest of all UK police force areas.
Anyone with information or concerns about modern slavery can call the GLAA on 0800 4320804 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively you can also report anonymously and in confidence to the Modern Slavery Helpline via 08000 121 700.
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