POLICE swooped on homes across London, including Hillingdon, Ealing and Hounslow, in an operation to crack down on sexual exploitation and modern slavery.
Officers from the Modern Slavery and Child Exploitation Unit carried out ‘welfare visits’ at 18 addresses in nine boroughs.
Det Chief Insp Helen Barling said: “We know that, in many cases, females providing sexual services have travelled from overseas, often fleeing poverty, lured by the promise of a well-paid job in the UK.
“However, upon arrival, the situation couldn’t be more different. Their exploiters take their ID documents and they end up working in brothels – sometimes forced to.
“They can also end up in debt bondage, where they owe money they will never be able to repay to people they had trusted.
“The public have an important role to play. If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.”
All the addresses visited were identified as brothels. A total of 46 women were spoken to and offered support.
The women spoken to were from the UK, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Romania.
One man, a 36-year-old Hungarian, was arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution.
You should call the Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733 if you have anything to report.