With the deprivation that Thanet suffers from, it doesn't surprise me that we might figure in somewhere in the sex-trade and human trafficking league. Chairing, as I do, the "Tackling Organised Crime" congress, the statistics of misery are far greater than most readers would ever imagine!
Seven people were arrested yesterday and eight women are being cared for by specialist officers following a Kent Police operation to target people trafficking and the sex trade.
Early on Thursday morning more than 100 police officers from across the county visited 11 addresses in Margate, Ramsgate, Canterbury, Herne Bay and Sittingbourne where warrants were executed.
According to the report, detailed searches of those properties were carried out. Four of the addresses are understood to have been used as brothels. The other locations are believed to be home addresses of people suspected of being involved in the crimes. Police say further arrests are anticipated.
A Kent Police spokesman commented: "This is part of the nationwide campaign Operation Pentameter 2, led by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office, which aims to protect vulnerable people being exploited by organised criminal groups. Kent Police is playing an active role."
"The seven people have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic women for sexual exploitation and conspiracy to control the activity of prostitutes for gain or money laundering, together with drug offences.
Thousands of pounds in cash have also been recovered.
Anyone with any information about trafficking is urged to contact Kent Police on 01622 690690 or Kent Crimestoppers, free and anonymously, on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.