Modern slavery raid at Cornwall flower-picking farm

Bosahan farm
Police are at the scene of the farm in Cornwall at the centre of the raid.

About 200 migrants are at the centre of a modern slavery police raid at a Cornwall flower-picking farm.

Three men were arrested on suspicion of slavery offences in the raid at Bosahan farm, Manaccan, Helston, at 06:00 GMT.

The 200 workers are believed to be mostly male migrants from Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria.

A specially-created reception centre has been set up on site. Police were assisted by the Gang Masters Labour Abuse Authority.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences and one man was taken into custody on suspicion of gangmaster offences.

The Salvation Army, Cornwall Council, the Red Cross, interpreters and HMRC are also providing support to Devon and Cornwall Police.

Police said it was an “exceptional and unusual” case because of the volume of people involved.

Detective Inspector Gail Windsor, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said it followed concerns about the migrants’ welfare and working practices on the farm.

She said: “There are approximately 200 people – a combination of Lithuanian, Romanians, Bulgarians and Polish people who come over here every year for the flower season and they are accommodated in caravans on the site.

“We’ve got a triage team up on the site that have been visiting all the workers that live on here making sure they’re OK.

“If anybody wants assistance on the site or off the site, then we’re making sure that happens with Cornwall Council.”

Kathryn Taylor, from The Salvation Army’s Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Unit, said counselling, interpretation services, legal and immigration advice, medical and financial assistance and safe house accommodation would be made available.

She said: “Once they have been identified as potential victims, The Salvation Army works with survivors of this heinous crime as they begin the long journey to rebuild their lives and their trust in humanity.”

Source: bbc.co.uk

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