A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of keeping a brothel after police carried out a series of raids in Bournemouth.

Officers carried out several co-ordinated warrants at addresses in the town in an effort to crackdown on suspected human trafficking, prostitution and drug offences.

A number of possible vulnerable victims of suspected modern slavery have also been safeguarded and supported during the day of action on Tuesday, May 11.

A significant amount of cash was seized during the warrants as well as a number of digital devices that will be examined.

Dorset Police confirmed that a 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of keeping a brothel and permitting the use of a premises for the supply of class A drugs.

He is currently assisting officers with their enquiries.

Acting Detective Superintendent Jim Beashel, of Dorset Police, said: “We know from experience that the summer and the influx of visitors it attracts to our area tends to bring with it a rise in things like pop-up brothels and associated exploitation linked to organised crime networks.

“We recognise the impact this kind of activity can have on local residents and, with our resorts expected to experience a busier summer than ever due to the current situation with the global pandemic, we are keen to take a proactive approach to tackle any issues when they arise.

“We want to send a clear message that this kind of activity will not be tolerated in our communities and this day of action shows we will take positive action against those suspected of being involved in these crimes and to support vulnerable victims."

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The warrants were obtained under section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 following intelligence received in relation to the reported supply of class A drugs from the premises involved, as well as suspected links to organised crime and prostitution.

The operation was jointly led by the Bournemouth Central Neighbourhood Policing Team and experts in the force’s public protection unit, with assistance from detectives from Bournemouth CID.

Dorset Police was supported by the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit and the Liberty Project, which offers safe houses for victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Acting Detective Superintendent Jim Beashel added: "As ever, we are indebted to members of our local communities to help provide information and intelligence in relation to suspected drug related activity and exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

"We would urge anyone who has information to report it to us online at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.”

For more information on human trafficking and modern slavery, including how to spot signs and report concerns, visit dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/abuse-exploitation-neglect/ht-ms.

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