HUNDREDS of men recorded visiting suspected brothels by surveillance teams are being told by police: Come forward or we will pay you a visit.

The men - all believed to be from the Darlington, South Durham and Teesside areas - face the prospect of police turning up at their home or workplace.

More than 70 police officers and immigration officials swooped on several properties in Darlington and one on Teesside last week.

Last night, Acting Detective Inspector Alan Morris, from Durham Constabulary's major crime team, revealed that surveillance teams had been watching two of the Darlington properties, in Victoria Road and Gurney Street, for some time.

He said: "The police operation has established that hundreds of men had called at the premises.

"We are now appealing to them to come forward. They have committed no offence that we are aware of and we want to speak to them as witnesses."

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that six of the seven Thai women arrested in the raids, have now been deported as illegal immigrants.

The seventh woman, who is also from Thailand but has British citizenship, has been released on bail.

Two Darlington men, both in their 30s, still remain on police bail pending further investigation after they were arrested on suspicion of involvement in organised prostitution.

Acting Det Insp Morris said any information provided by those who visited the properties would be treated in strict confidence.

But he warned: "What we are saying is come forward now under your own terms, otherwise it will be necessary for officers to use intelligence gathered during the operation to call either at the homes or businesses of the men involved.

"Obviously, if they come forward that wouldn't be necessary and would eliminate any potential embarrassment that we have no wish to cause."

He said that during the surveillance operation, officers had recorded car registration numbers, among other information, of men visiting the two addresses.

Following the raids, five women, all in their 20s and 30s, were arrested at a shop and house in Victoria Road, while another two were found at a house in Gurney Street.

They were initially taken to a detention centre in Spennymoor, County Durham, where they were questioned by immigration officials.

The six women found to be illegal immigrants were later taken to London and have since been flown out of the UK.

Officers also raided addresses in Victoria Embankment, Corporation Road and Thompson Street West, all Darlington, and a home on Stockton's Ragworth estate.

Durham Police said the operation had been mounted as a result of numerous complaints from local people.

They said cash and documents seized would be the subject of an investigation by the force's assets recovery team.

Anyone wishing to help police with their investigations can contact them anonymously on 0845 6060365.