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Shocking housing conditions uncovered in modern slavery raids in Newham, Ilford and Barking

PUBLISHED: 15:19 22 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:30 22 February 2018

These are the cramped conditions uncovered at a terraced house in east London where 22 people were living. Picture: Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

These are the cramped conditions uncovered at a terraced house in east London where 22 people were living. Picture: Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority

These are the appallingly overcrowded conditions discovered at a terraced house during modern slavery dawn raids in Newham, Ilford and Barking yesterday.

Six men are pictured slumped across mattresses in one tiny room at the property in Ilford where 22 people were found living in cramped conditions.

Investigators from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) carried out simultaneous swoops at five properties yesterday morning.

Officers carrying out an investigation into the alleged exploitation of eastern European workers found 51 people living at addresses in Newham, Barking, Ilford and Walthamstow.

GLAA senior investigating officer Tony Byrne said: “What you see in this picture is fairly typical of the sorts of conditions workers – men, women and children - are living in right now throughout the UK and we will not hesitate to act on any intelligence we receive to protect vulnerable workers.”

Two teenage boys, age 15 and 16, were among 51 people found living at five separate addresses.

The investigation, which was supported by the Met Police, was launched following allegations of labour abuse on construction sites across London, threats of violence and false identities being used.

A 25-year-old Romanian man was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

He has since been released under investigation as enquiries continue.

People found living inside the houses were aged from 15 to 56.

Ten of them were taken to a reception centre, where they were given the opportunity to speak to specially trained officers about their circumstances.

Anyone who suspects slavery or trafficking offences are happening in their community is urged to call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700 or report suspicions to the GLAA on 0800 432 0804.

* Do you live in a house or flat where there is overcrowding? Do you have concerns about unsuitable living conditions at your property? Contact investigations journalist Emma Youle on emma.youle@archant.co.uk or call 020 7433 0122.

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