Suspected brothel raided by police

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A SUSPECTED brothel on Edward Street was raided by police on Friday evening with a number of items being seized from the property.

PSNI officers conducted a search at the property and took the items for further investigation.

SDLP Councillor Gary Stokes said that it is worrying that young women are potentially being trafficked against their will "under people's noses" in the area.

The SDLP Councillor said: "If it was the case, obviously the big concern would be that individuals are being trafficked and being held against their will.

"It's happened over the years where there's been individuals in Newry convicted for trafficking. In the past it's been the case that it's been happening under people's noses.

"You worry that are there young women being held against their will and imprisoned and made to work  against their will. That's always a big concern that you have when individuals are preying on young women.

"In the past I have reported where people have reported to me that this sort of stuff is going on and I know that the police have investigated it," said Mr Stokes.

The Councillor branded human trafficking the "modern-day slavery" and said that  women who are involved must be protected by the law and the relevant agencies.

"Obviously there's no element of criminality to these women, but what can happen is that someone's holding these women's documents, he said.

"I know that we've moved to a position where these people aren't further made victims by the police, because obviously they're being held against their will and trafficked.

"Where it is trafficking, it's a form of modern-day slavery and the worst kind of slavery-sex slavery, and you just hate to think that this sort of stuff is happening around you and you don't know about it."

Mr Stokes urged people to be vigilant of any suspicious behaviour and to report any irregular activity to the police.

He said: "If people have suspicions that anything like this is going on around them, [perhaps if] taxis are pulling up at houses at night and what not, tell the police because they will investigate it.

"Don't hesitate and don't leave it even if you've any hunch at all that something's going on that shouldn't be going on, ring the police and tell them. At least you'll have done your civic duty."

Confirming that there was a raid at the property, a police spokesperson said: "Police conducted a search of a property in the Edward Street area of Newry on Friday evening, 23 March.

"A number of items were seized and taken away for examination. Enquiries are ongoing.  There are no further details at this time."


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