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Sex trafficking fight

PUBLISHED: 16:10 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:56 23 August 2010

FIFTY people have been arrested across the county as part of six month operation to tackle human trafficking. Pentameter 2 was launched in October last year and targeted the sale of women and children for prostitution and forced labour across the UK. Th

FIFTY people have been arrested across the county as part of six month operation to tackle human trafficking.

Pentameter 2 was launched in October last year and targeted the sale of women and children for prostitution and forced labour across the UK.

This week the results for the Home Office and Association of Chief Police Officers led campaign were published, revealing that 167 victims, including 12 children were rescued from addresses across the country, leading to 500 arrests.

In north Kent, a total of 10 premises were raided, including four in Dartford, five in Gravesend and one on Swanley. Three people were arrested in Dartford, one received a caution, one was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and released without charge and a third woman was arrested for immigration offences. Three people were arrested in Gravesend and two in Swanley for Immigration offences

Assistant Chief Constable Allyn Thomas, co-ordinating the operation in Kent, said:

"This campaign highlights the continuous efforts Kent Police makes to identify victims of trafficking. It is important that we make contact with victims to show them there is help and support available.

"In identifying sex workers who may have been forced against their will into prostitution, we can try to show them that there is a safe route out of what can be for some, a desperate situation."

Kent Police works with the UK Borders Agency (UKBA), Department for Work and Pensions, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and other partner agencies to identify victims of trafficking.

Mr Thomas added: "While the main objective of this campaign was to identify and rescue victims of trafficking, we are continuously working to make sure that those organised crime groups who are at the centre of this activity are repeatedly targeted. We must make certain that Kent remains a hostile environment for their criminal activity."

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

If anyone has information they are asked to ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or in an emergency dial 999.

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