Two men arrested during dawn raids on Newham and Romford brothels where eight women found

PUBLISHED: 14:34 20 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:17 21 May 2020

Detectives break into one of the brothels as part of a series of dawn raids in Newham and Romford. Picture: MPS

Detectives break into one of the brothels as part of a series of dawn raids in Newham and Romford. Picture: MPS


Two men were arrested and eight women rescued during raids on brothels in a crackdown on sexual exploitation and modern slavery.

Officers carried out dawn raids at brothels in East Ham, Manor Park, Plaistow, Little Ilford and one in Romford earlier today (May 20).

Police arrested two Romanian men. An officer suffered minor injuries to his hand during the arrests.

Det Insp Nigel Penney said: “I am pleased with the result of this operation that took months of hard work to investigate and set up.

“The Met is entirely committed to tackling these crimes and protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners, as we have on this operation, to target those involved in this criminality and prevent them from exploiting innocent individuals any further.”

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A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution and a 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution and attempted grievous bodily harm on a police officer. Both are in custody at an east London police station.

The eight Romanian women are being supported by specially trained officers. The Salvation Army is to help ensure they have a safe place to stay and the support to rebuild their lives.

The arrests were part of an investigation into an organised crime gang believed to be sexually exploiting women at brothels in Newham.

Brothel closure orders have been applied to the premises which were in Barking Road, Clarence Road, Pelly Road, Leader Avenue – all in Newham – and Junction Road, Romford.

Director of anti-trafficking and modern slavery for The Salvation Army, major Kathy Betteridge, said: “Thanks to the continued efforts of the Metropolitan Police, we have the chance to reach these vulnerable people to get them the support they urgently need.

“As lockdown begins to ease, we are calling on the public to be vigilant in spotting the signs of people still trapped in slave-like conditions and report their suspicions to help the police combat this evil crime.”

Call The Salvation Army’s 24-hour confidential helpline on 0800 808 3733 or contact the modern slavery helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700.

Or visit or call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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