Tyne & Wear

Anti-slavery operation leads to 14 people being 'rescued'

An operation aimed at tackling human trafficking, labour exploitation and modern-day slavery has resulted in 14 people being rescued, police have said.

It follows raids on eight addresses in Newcastle, Consett in County Durham and Houghton-le-Spring, on Tuesday.

Five people have been charged and six others who were arrested have been bailed, pending further inquiries.

The operation also involved Newcastle City Council, the Red Cross and the National Crime Agency.

Det Supt Sever Barron, from Northumbria Police's safeguarding department, said: "We have been able to safeguard a number of people who were vulnerable and at risk.

"These people are now safe and supported, this has been our main priority throughout this operation."

Vera Baird QC, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "Human trafficking is not just something that happens in other countries, as these results demonstrate, it is happening right here on our doorstep."

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