By Daniel Wood
A man and a woman in Huddersfield have been arrested on suspicion of offences under the Modern Slavery Act.
Two victims were rescued from a house after a series of raids were made across Europe today (May 14).
The victims were found at the house at around 6 am on Thursday, May 14 by West Yorkshire Police’s Precision Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Team and officers from the National Crime Agency.
Coordinated raids were carried out simultaneously in various countries across Europe including Austria and Romania.
Help was also provided by Kirklees District Police during the operation.
A man, 38 and a woman, 42 were arrested following the rescue, but they have since been released on bail.
Detective Superintendent Carl Galvin, said: “Modern Slavery, also known as human trafficking, is a horrible crime that trades in human misery.
“There is no place for it in 21st century Britain or anywhere else.
“We are determined to bring those responsible for it to justice and to safeguard and support the victims.
“Through Programme Precision, we are working together with local, national and international partners to bring those responsible for serious and organised crime to justice.
“Programme Precision also seeks to work with the public to tackle serious and organised crime – and modern slavery is often a crime that ‘hides in plain sight’ – it could be happening on your street so if you suspect any suspicious behaviour or have information about potential slavery offences call police on 101 – your call could make all the difference.”
Information can be given online at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat or anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity by calling 0800 555 111.
DSI Galvin added: “You can also call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 121 700 and always call 999 in an emergency.”
The two women found in the house are now being supported by global non-profit Hope for Justice.
Steve Howard, Hubs Team Manager at Hope for Justice, said: “Modern Slavery, in all its forms, is a despicable crime.
“We are privileged to have been involved in this operation, and ultimately, in the rescue of these two women.
“Our multi-skilled team has been able to assist with translation, as well as providing independent support and advice for the victims.
“We will be working to ensure their ongoing care and safety in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
“We are glad to be working alongside the police and with other partners to respond to referrals of potential trafficking victims such as these women.
“We are as committed as ever to ending slavery for good.”