Police in Middlesbrough have safeguarded two men believed to be victims of Modern Slavery in raids on Cannabis Farms in the area. Cannabis plants worth an estimated £360,000 were also seized during the raids on two separate properties.
Officers from the Proactive Team and Neighbourhood team were called into action after Middlesbrough Council colleagues reported a suspicious smell. Police were able to identify the location of one farm in an industrial unit on Lorne Street. A second cannabis farm was soon located at another industrial unit on Greta Street.
The immediate safeguarding tasks are being carried out by specialist officers in Cleveland Police’s Complex Exploitation Team. The ongoing investigation looks to establish the circumstances surrounding the men’s alleged exploitation and identify those responsible.
Sergeant John Sproson from the Proactive Team had this to say:
“This highlights the impact that cannabis cultivation has in relation to modern day slavery and the funding of organised crime.
“Those who do take advantage of others for organised criminality can expect to be brought to justice.
“We would continue to urge anyone with information or suspicions regarding drug activity in their area, to contact Cleveland Police or Crimestoppers.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact Cleveland Police on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.
For more information, see the full release from Cleveland Police.