AN investigation into modern slavery was launched after a man was found with injuries to his ears at a property in Bournemouth.

Dorset Police attended a large house in Boscombe, in the early hours of Thursday morning after being notified by the ambulance service.

Paramedics had been called to help a man in his 60s who had suffered cuts to his ears.

Officers attended the scene and a 44-year-old man, of no fixed abode, was arrested on suspicion of assault and holding a person in slavery or servitude.

He was assisting police with their enquiries on Thursday.

Bournemouth Echo:

A Dorset Police spokesman confirmed: “An investigation is underway to establish how the man came to sustain the injuries.

“Enquiries include an examination of the scene, and a cordon has been put in place at the address.”

Police were first called at 3.25am on Thursday.

The house, which appears to be separated into flats, remained cordoned off yesterday afternoon.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named said: “It is crazy to hear someone has been arrested for slavery. Fair enough, this can be quite a vibrant area, but its rare to hear about this sort of thing going on.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Last week the Daily Echo reported on Chief Constable James Vaughan’s concerns about policing the county with dwindling financial support from Government.

He warned: “The dynamics of crime over recent years have shifted markedly and we are now experiencing higher levels of arguably the most harmful crime such as sexual assaults, domestic assaults, child sexual exploitation, modern slavery and cybercrime.

“Not only are these crimes a high threat, they also require more specialised and time-consuming investigations in order to protect and safeguard victims, particularly those who are vulnerable.”

Meanwhile, Dorset’s police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill, speaking about the Modern Slavery Act, last year, said: “Modern slavery continues to plague us nationally, it is taking place close to home and Dorset isn’t exempt.”