Police have arrested two men and safeguarded nine women as part of a nationwide crackdown on sexual exploitation linked to human trafficking and modern slavery.
Officers visited four premises in Peterborough and three in Cambridge in September in connection with suspected exploitation of women who, it was suspected, were being forced to operate as sex workers.
A 35-year-old man was arrested in Orchard Park, Cambridge, on suspicion of controlling prostitution for gain, possession of a knife, possession of Class B drugs and driving without insurance. He has been released under investigation.
A premises in Constantine Drive, Cardea, Peterborough, was visited where a 35-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution for gain and human trafficking. He has been released on bail.
DCI Alan Page said: “Nationally we have seen a rise in foreign national women being involved in prostitution.
“I strongly believe these women are not willingly involved in this sexual activity and are being exploited and forced to do so.
“This is either due to debt in their home country or having been sold a false dream of a life in the UK which, in reality, involves them being exploited.
“I am glad we were able to support some potentially vulnerable people in Cambridgeshire. Victims of sexual exploitation are often completely controlled and feel too trapped to get help or speak up.
“We will continue to target those who sexually exploit vulnerable members of our community, either as facilitators or customers.
“The public play a key role in helping to tackle sexual exploitation, modern slavery and labour exploitation.
“If anyone has any suspicions at all in their local area, for example if they see lots of people calling at certain addresses, then we’d strongly urge them to report that to us.
“Information supplied to us helps us build a picture of what is happening in local areas and may help us safeguard many more potential victims. Please pass on any concerns or information.”
Suspicions relating to exploitation, modern slavery and human trafficking should be reported online via https://www.cambs.police.uk/report or by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Concerns can also be reported to the confidential 24/7 Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.