Four alleged brothels closed down in Luton following rescue of 11 women and child

Four alleged brothels in Luton raided by police earlier this week have been shut down.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:10 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 4:11 pm

Following the raids on Tuesday, December 10, four suspected brothels in Luton have been hit with a closure order by the courts, banning anyone from entering the premises for a total of three months.

A police application to close a fifth property, also thought to be linked to organised crime, is due to be heard at court today (Friday).

11 Hungarian and Romanian women found at the properties were each offered safeguarding support for victims of modern slavery.

An officer outside one of the closed brothels

A child remains under safeguarding care of the local authority.

Eight people arrested during the operation, which also aimed to combat human trafficking in Luton, have since been released under investigation while police enquiries continue.

Inspector Jim Goldsmith, who led the raids, said: “Our co-ordinated series of warrants was designed to cause maximum disruption to the off-street sex trade in Luton, which we know has links to the exploitation of vulnerable people for criminal gain.

“Following Tuesday’s warrants, we have continued to dismantle this dark and dangerous enterprise by pursuing civil closure orders through the courts.

“We are pleased that through this partnership effort we have not only managed to offer safeguarding and support to those at risk, but also prevented any further criminality or exploitation from taking place at these properties.”

More than 150 specialists supported Tuesday’s enforcement including partners from Luton Council, local charity Azalea, the National Crime Agency and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

If you have information about a suspected brothel, please report it to police on 101 or via bedfordshire.police.uk/reportYou can also report information anonymously via the Modern Slavery Helpline, on 08000 121 700.

Azalea is a local charity working with the victims of human trafficking. For advice or to report any concerns contact them on 01582 227303.