Police in the UK are understood to have rescued eight men from a farm after investigation found that they were forced into potential slavery and servitude.
Hampshire Police, along with officers from the National Crime Agency, compiled a legal search at Little Testwood Farm in Salisbury Road, Calmore, Southampton, at 6am this morning.
The men are believed to be aged between 21 and 46 and are understood to be of Romanian, Latvian and Polish nationalities. The men have since been taken to a survivor reception centre where they are being questioned about their experience, they are also receiving emotional and practical support at the centre.
Officers searching the farm also recovered industrial equipment which is believed to have been stolen. A 27-year-old man, from Luton, Bedfordshire, was arrested at the scene on the charges of holding another person in slavery or servitude and remains in custody.
Detective Inspector Phil Scrase, from Southampton CID has released a statement in which he said: “As this morning’s action shows, we’ll take swift action against anyone suspected of exploiting vulnerable members of society for their own gain.
“We know that people are being trafficked, exploited and enslaved across the country including here in Hampshire. “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?”