A major operation into human trafficking has seen its latest two arrests after swoops on Stockton.
Cleveland Police says a man, 41, was arrested on Monday, September 24, and a 27-year-old man was arrested on Saturday, September 29, both on suspicion of conspiracy to rape and conspiracy to commit human trafficking.
They were arrested in Stockton and have been released under investigation.
To date, 23 men have been arrested during a series of raids in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Sheffield under the banner Operation Cotton.
Seven of the men have been released with no further action and 16 remain released under investigation.
Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Chris Stone, said: “Operation Cotton was launched in 2017 and since then officers from the investigating team have worked tirelessly in a bid to bring people to justice who are involved in human trafficking.
“We would urge any victims to contact police or any of our partner agencies, who can offer the right support.”
Police are asking that anyone with information which might help the investigation, perhaps by recognising that they have also been the victims of such abuse, contact Cleveland Police on 101.
Contact details for organisations that can help:
Anyone who has experienced a sexual offence can also contact Teesside Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), regardless of whether or not the offence has been reported to the police.
SARC provides 24 hour crisis intervention and works in partnership with local specialist services (such as Barnardo’s and Arch). SARC crisis workers are available on 03333448283 at any time of day or night.