Police raids cast light on sex trade

Foreign girls found working in four brothels around town

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Four brothels in and around Eastbourne town centre have been busted by police officers amid fears that young foreign nationals were working as prostitutes.

Officers raided premises in the town centre and on the outskirts of Eastbourne earlier this month as part of a clampdown on victims of human trafficking being forced to work in brothels.

But while foreign nationals were found to be working in the brothels senior police chiefs say they were not juveniles or victims of trafficking.

Police have declined to name the whereabouts of the brothels but the Herald believes two in Upperton, one in Old Town and a town centre establishment were targeted in the raids.

The swoop was part of a national operation and officers from the Divisional Intelligence Unit were acting on information passed on by informants.

Detective Inspector Mike Ashcroft said this week, “The purpose of the visits was to check upon the safety and welfare of the occupants and to ensure that no juveniles or victims of human trafficking were working at these locations.

“None were believed to have been found. Police enquiries were focussed on these asp

ects, and the welfare of such people would always be considered a police priority.

“Sussex Police does not condone any unlawful activity. If it becomes apparent to police officers visiting these premises that criminal offences are being committed then any person involved may be liable to be arrested and prosecuted.”

The visits were part of Operation Pentameter 2, a national operation looking at child trafficking and trafficking linked to the sex trade and forced labour.

DI Ashcroft added, “These visits are one of a number of positive actions being taken by Sussex Police in support of Operation Pentameter 2.

“I am directly appealing to anyone who has used a prostitute they feel may have been trafficked, and to the community who feel there may be premises near them that are being used for this exploitation, to contact the police. Any information will be treated in confidence.”

The full article contains 339 words and appears in n/a newspaper.

Last Updated: 29 November 2007 3:53 PM

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