FOUR people have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking offences after police swooped on business premises in Middlesbrough.

In total, five warrants were executed by Cleveland Police; two residential and two business properties in Middlesbrough and one house in the Washington area of Northumbria.

A man aged 36 and three women aged 23, 32 and 36 were arrested on suspicion of trafficking offences and all have been released under investigation.

Detective Inspector Steve Bell, from Vulnerable Exploited Missing Trafficked, said today: “Investigations are ongoing but police believe that these business premises have been a front for criminal activity and exploitation.

“Trafficking and exploitation of any kind will not be tolerated in Cleveland and information will be acted upon.

"Yesterday’s action is just one example of us acting on such information."

“Anyone who has information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The Modern Slavery Helpline can be contacted 24/7 on 08000 121 700.”