POLICE have closed three pop-up brothels in Bournemouth holiday lets over the past seven months.

Speaking at a meeting of Hotel Watch last week, Detective Inspector Gavin House called for hoteliers and owners of holiday rentals to be aware of the issue, warning "a woman with one small suitcase who has 10 visitors a day" may be vulnerable and the victim of sexual abuse.

Police have also recently rescued a woman who was forced into sex work after being trafficked from Germany.

DI House said hoteliers concerned about the welfare of a man or woman should ask themselves: "Did they do this by their own choice? Are they under threat?"

"Sometimes we turn up to a pop-up brothel and the women are there of their own volition," he said.

"We're looking at these people as potential victims, not suspects to bring into custody. That's what we're looking at with pop-up brothels."

A phone call to police can help a victim of sex offences to get help, he said.

"That's our opportunity to get someone out. We have attended three pop-up brothels in seven months, and made three arrests at a hotel less than a mile from here. The female in that case was trafficked in from Germany," he said.

DI House said companies like Airbnb are working "really, really hard" to tackle the issue. The company said there have been no reports of pop-up brothels committed at any of their properties.

If police receive reports of suspicious activity that may be linked to trafficking, officers won't always "scream down with blue lights on," DI House said.

"Sometimes we're looking to disrupt it," he said.

As reported in the Daily Echo, initiative Hotel Watch - which aims to tackle crimes including child sexual exploitation (CSE) and drug dealing - launched in 2015 as a small group of people working at hotels in the town began sharing information via email.

Officers from Bournemouth Central Neighbourhood Policing Team then joined the group. More than 100 hotels and B&Bs are currently involved.

DI House said: "Act on instinct.

"If you're worried someone is at immediate risk of harm, call 999."

For more information, email hotelwatch@dorset.pnn.police.uk