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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Short Lets and Brothels: police force warns agents and landlords

A police force has issued a warning to agents and owners of short-let properties to look for signs of modern slavery or sexual exploitation.

The Avon and Somerset Constabulary says over 40 per cent of the intelligence it has on modern slavery is linked to off-street prostitution; some of this may happen in short-let accommodation rented via online platforms in a bid to avoid detection.

The issue is common in a number of areas across the country.

Superintendent Mark Edgington, force lead for modern slavery at Avon and Somerset police, says: "Pop-up brothels in short-term rental properties are increasingly being reported across the UK and it is important that property hosts are able to recognise the signs of potential modern slavery and sexual exploitation.

"Many hosts are completely unaware their properties could be used for this or the signs they should be looking out for.

"If using an online booking service, we would always suggest that hosts check the profile of anyone requesting to book their property and read the reviews from other hosts.

"Some online services will also allow hosts to require that all guests provide identification before they are able to book, this can give some assurance that the tenant is really who they say they are.

"Property hosts have an important part to play in helping us to identify potential exploitation and it is their responsibility to ensure that any suspicious activity within their properties is reported."

Anyone with information about a pop-up brothel can call the modern slavery helpline on 08000 121700, or 999 if they believe a person is being trafficked or in danger.

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    The way to stop this is to ensure that anyone booking has proper verification and that property owners are legally culpable if it happens. The plea from Avon Police is a bit pathetic. The real victims here are those being sexually trafficed/ exploited by organised gangs.

  • Paul Barrett

    Hardly exploitation.
    They are willing slaves..Whenever they are discovered they are NEVER deported to where they were trafficked from which is what should occur..
    Rescuing slaves fine but that doesn't mean they get to stay in the UK poncing off the taxpayer.
    They should be given a plane ticket to where they came from..
    This of course never happens.
    So I prefer they remain slaves and NOT burden on the Taxpayer!!

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    Some are Paul, but Not ALL, by far.
    Yes, I agree with repatriation, after assistance with Prosecuting authorities, but there is usually a short to medium term requirement to accommodate them. ( to try to get to the Gang Leaders )
    Its also the case that most Trafficking - Slavery, is run by organised Crime and the 'variety of their enterprises' spans many forms of exploitation, including drugs and Laundering money.
    ( I should disclose that I'm a Modern Day Slavery Awareness Trainer, - amongst other things )

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