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Warrants executed under Sexual Offences Act – Reading Update

Friday 14 June 2013, 12:21pm

Officers executed warrants at two premises in Zinzan Street under the Sexual Offences Act on suspected brothels operating in Reading.

Two men and one woman were arrested after warrants were executed on Thursday (6/6).

Details of the arrests are:

A 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of intentionally arrange/facilitate entry into UK/another country of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation

A 32-year-old woman, was arrested on suspicion of manage/assist in management of brothel and intentionally arrange/facilitate entry into UK/another country of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation.

A 56-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of managing a brothel.

All three have been released on bail pending further enquiries and are due back at Loddon Valley police station on 8 August.

Information obtained after these warrants were executed led to search of a property in South Street also believed to be a brothel on Thursday (6/6).

A 24-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of manage/assist in management of brothel and intentionally arrange/facilitate entry into UK/another country of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries and is due back at Loddon Valley police station on 8 August.

Insp Keith Stacey, from the local neighbourhood policing team, said: “The search of a property in South Street was the result of information we obtained from the warrants in Zinzan Street.

“This operation is the result of some great intelligence that members of public and local residents have provided us.

“There were 11 women found within the two premises in Zinzan Street. Seven of the women were provided with a safe place to stay on Thursday night whilst the other four made their own arrangements.

“The woman were of three different nationalities; Romanian, Thai and Nigerian. The seven women we provided accommodation for, have now made their own arrangements.

“No women were found in the South Street property.”

Supt Stuart Greenfield, Local Police Area Commander for Reading, said: “I would like to thank all those community members who have provided information to the local team which has led to this operation.

“In addition to the operation, on Friday (7/6) we authorised a closure notice whereby we have reasonable grounds to believe that in the three months prior to the date of the operation the premises has been used either for specified prostitution offences or pornography offences.

“This application is supported by a certificate of consultation from the local authority and in this case was supported by a statement from local neighbourhood Inspector Keith Stacey detailing the impact that this had caused to the community.

“Now that this has been issued, no one other than the owner or anyone who resides there can enter or stay on the premises.

“This was a large operation which involved our key partner agencies, including the Home Office Immigration Enforcement, Reading Borough Council, Salvation Army, UK Human Trafficking Centre.

“I would like to reassure the local residents that we take this type of crime very seriously, however, such investigations are complicated and can take a significant amount of time and resources to achieve a positive result in the courts.

“These types of crimes are relatively rare but we are very concerned about the risk of abuse, harm and exploitation associated with premises where sexual services are offered and we will continue to work hard to stop offences taking place and to keep Reading a safe place to live and work.

“The local neighbourhood teams will continue to keep a visible presence in the area and anyone who has any concerns can speak to them.”

“We are still in the early stages of the investigation and I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us by calling 101.”

If you want to speak to the local neighbourhood team or have information which can assist the police investigation, please call the 24-hour Enquiry Centre on 101.

PS

Notes for editors:
The closure order for the properties in Zinzan Street was applied for at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday (7/6) and granted. The 32-year-old woman arrested in connection with this inquiry has been detained by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement

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