Potters Bar, St Albans and Stevenage men arrested as part of Europe-wide crackdown on child trafficking

PUBLISHED: 12:23 04 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:38 04 July 2019

Five arrested for crimes relating to children. Picture: Pexels

Five arrested for crimes relating to children. Picture: Pexels

Archant

Five men from Potters Bar, St Albans and Stevenage have been arrested as part of a Europe-wide crackdown on child trafficking.

Herts Police carried out the operation from June 17 to 23, during the Europe-wide Operation week EMPACT.

A total of 25 warrants were then executed across the area in Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Watford, Radlett, Abbotts Langley, Broxbourne, Borehamwood, St Albans, Harpenden, Welwyn, Hertford and Barnet.

From this six arrests were made:

Two 18-year-old men from Stevenage were arrested on suspicion of online grooming of a child.

A 30-year-old man from St Albans was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

A 27-year-old man from Potters Bar was arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

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A 21-year-old man from Potters Bar was arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

A 44-year-old man from Watford was arrested on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

Five voluntary interviews were also conducted by Herts Police.

The modern slavery unit, Operation Tropic, conducted the operations to stop child trafficking and exploitation of under-18s.

Herts Police were supported by the Child Online Safeguarding Team, HALO (Sexual Exploitation of Children and Young People) teams and officers from the Special Constabulary, Hertsmere Intervention, Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, Essex Police, Hertsmere Borough Council and Immigration and Border Control.

The proactive Potters Bar operation, with Hertsmere Intervention officers, was emphasised by Herts Police as raising awareness locally about the signs of trafficking - particularly by businesses.

Major transport hubs and businesses were also identified as potentially being involved in child trafficking as part of the operations.

Herts Police have a guideline online for spotting the signs of modern slavery: herts.police.uk/Information-and-services/Advice/Modern-slavery/Modern-slavery

If you have any information online for the police on this subject, you can report it online at herts.police.uk/Report, via web chat herts.police.uk/contact or by phone on the non-emergency number 101, and ask for Herts Police.

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