A 24-year-old has been arrested after Hertfordshire police attended a number of suspected brothels in St Albans and Watford.

Hertfordshire police revealed today (Friday, September 22) that the Romanian woman had been taken into custody on suspicion of illegal entry to the UK.

The arrest follows an operation which saw officers attend three locations to safeguard those being sexually exploited by criminal gangs.


The three sites had been identified as "potential brothels" by Hertfordshire Constabulary, however, individuals found did not present any welfare concerns or show any indicators or evidence of exploitation.

Officers took the opportunity to raise awareness of the potential dangers of sexual exploitation, how to safely access medical attention and how to report any concerns to police.

Detective Sergeant Jill Green said: "Modern slavery is a serious and often hidden crime which continues to affect people across the UK with sexual exploitation accounting for a significant number of these offences. 

"Working in this area is challenging for a number of reasons and although not all sex workers are victims of modern slavery, the approach we take remains similar with the focus of law enforcement to improve safety and target those who exploit or cause harm.  

“We will not tolerate the exploitation of vulnerable people by organised crime groups and we continue to carry out such visits with our local partners to offer support to victims, allow them to make informed choices and offer them a way out.  

"Each report also feeds into a wider intelligence picture and helps us to catch those responsible, further protecting vulnerable people.”

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Constabulary added: "Anyone with concerns about human trafficking or modern slavery should call police via 101 or the national Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.

"In an emergency call 999.

"For victim support contact the Beacon Victim Care hotline on 03000 11 55 55."

Crime can also be reported online at www.herts.police.uk/ro/report, or via Hertfordshire Constabulary's web chat service at herts.police.uk/contact.