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Three arrested in Blackpool in modern slavery and drugs raids

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image copyrightLancashire Police
image captionPolice want to speak to Jack Sanderson as part of the investigation
Three people have been arrested in raids as part of a major investigation into modern slavery and drug offences.
Warrants were issued after claims that young people are being forced to deal drugs in Grange Park, Blackpool, Lancashire Police said.
A woman, 44, and man, 22, and a boy, 15, all from Blackpool, are being held following the Operation Bethnall raids.
A fourth person, Jack Sanderson, 20, also of Blackpool, is wanted by police in connection with the investigation.
Drugs believed to be cocaine, cannabis and diazepam, as well as cash, were seized, said police.
"These raids follow a major investigation [in] Blackpool targeting individuals we suspect are using teenagers to deliver and supply drugs in the Grange Park area," said Det Sgt Steve Montgomery, of Lancashire Police.
"While we have made a number of arrests, Jack Sanderson is wanted by police as part of this operation - we would encourage anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward.
He added that modern slavery is often confused with "migrant working" or "illegal immigration" and involved people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
"Human trafficking can also be a part of modern slavery as a person is moved from one place to another. This could be country to country, town to town, or even as simple as one room in a building to another,"
"Even if a victim agrees to be moved, trafficking could still be taking place."
Blackpool Council leader, Lynn Williams, said the authority's children's social care team had helped to identify a situation where young people might be at risk.
The arrested woman and a 22-year-old man are being held on suspicion of human trafficking with the latter also being questioned on suspicion of supplying a controlled drug.
The 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs.
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