Luton sex workers offered safeguarding support by police

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Two people at risk of exploitation in the sex industry have been offered safeguarding support in an operation led by Bedfordshire Police.

Officers and specialist staff from the force worked with iCaSH Bedfordshire and the Luton Against Sexual Exploitation (LASE) partnership to reach out to sex workers as part of Wednesday’s operation.

They were offered safeguarding support and further help such as sexual health screenings.

Sergeant Victoria Willett, who led the operation, said: “Human traffickers exploit victims in the sex industry because the demand for sexual services means they can generate vast criminal profits.

“Unlike drugs or firearms, which are only bought or sold once, a victim being exploited in this way represents a continuous source of income for criminals.

“Those paying for sex need to think about whether they are engaging a trafficked victim.

"Paying for sex with someone who has been trafficked is a criminal offence, regardless of whether the person paying knows that the other person has been trafficked.

“Law enforcement’s focus is on reducing vulnerability, protecting victims and targeting those who exploit or cause harm.”

If you think someone is at risk of trafficking or exploitation you can report it to the police on 101 or via the online reporting centre on the Bedfordshire Police website.

You can also contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700.