Last Thursday (26th March), police carried out a number of warrants at addresses in Rose Hill, Blackbird Leys and a travellers’ site in Redbridge Hollow, in Hinksey Hill in relation to human exploitation, slavery and fraud offences.
Nine arrests (1 woman and 8 men) were made during the dawn raid by Thames Valley Police working with the National Crime Agency’s UK Human Trafficking Centre, South Oxfordshire Council and Vale of White Horse District Council, Oxfordshire County Council, HM Revenue and Customs, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross.
Since Thursday, two more people have been arrested: a 59-year-old woman and an 81-year-old man, of Oxford. Both face one count of conspiracy to hold another person in slavery and one count of conspiracy to require another person to perform forced labour, both between April 6, 2010 and February 9, 2015.
Two of those arrested on the first day have already been charged with slavery offences and remanded in custody: Helen Collins, 44, was charged with fraud and slavery offences and a 44-year-old man was charged with harassment, blackmail and assault and slavery offences. They also face one count of conspiracy to defraud between April 2, 2002 and February 9, 2015.
The investigation has been labelled “Operation Rague” and relates to suspected human exploitation, slavery and fraud offences.
Sources: BBC News, Oxford Mail, Oxford Times