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May 19, 2006

UK: Largest-scale raids on trafficking, sex trade take place in Leeds, Bradford

Sex trade crackdown
Kate O'Hara
Crime Correspondent

SUSPECTED brothels across Leeds and Bradford have been raided as part of the UK's biggest ever crack-down on trafficking and the illegal sex trade.

In a joint operation between West Yorkshire Police and the Immigration Service, officers forced their way into buildings in Elland Road and Burmantofts in Leeds, as well as a property in the Tyersal area of Bradford. A house in Armley was also searched in connection with the investigation.

During the raids a 50-year-old man and a woman, 45, were arrested on suspicion of managing brothels. They were later released on bail pending further inquiries.

The arrests came as a result of a national crackdown on sex trafficking, codenamed Operation Pentameter, which has led to 156 arrests across the UK so far. The campaign was launched in February in a bid to help women who can be forced to have sex with up to 40 men a day by violent pimps. The women mainly come from Eastern Europe, as well as Thailand, China and Brazil.

Yesterday Detective Inspector Martin Snowden, who is leading the investigation in West Yorkshire, said: "Women involved in the sex trade are rarely there through choice. They suffer violence, addiction and intimidation and lose all ability, physically and emotionally ,to leave."
16 May 2006
I believe Operation Pentameter began this past February --- so far, this effort seems quite promising.

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