Five people have been arrested after a police raid on a suspected brothel in a County Durham town today. 

Police officers, acting on intelligence, swooped on a commercial premises in Front Street, Chester-le-Street, shortly after 7am on Thursday (June 12).

Two men aged 63 and 28, together with two women, aged 47 and 20, have been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking for sexual exploitation and taken into custody for questioning.

A third man, aged 43, has also been arrested on suspicion of human trafficking for sexual exploitation following a second warrant at an address in Southport, Merseyside.

The pre-planned warrants have been carried out with the support of Merseyside Police and the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Search teams have remained at the address in Chester-le-Street throughout the day and a closure order has been issued.

Chief Inspector Alfie Keane, of Durham Constabulary, said: “Officers will remain at both addresses for some time while our search teams continue to examine the properties.

“We’d like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience and ongoing co-operation while our enquiries continue.

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The Northern Echo:

“Anyone with any information regarding potential criminality in your area should report it to us – we will always act on intelligence submitted to us.”

Information about suspicious activity happening in your area can be shared via our live chat on our website at Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.