SIX men thought to be working as slaves have been rescued after a police operation into forced labour and human trafficking in Dorset.

Police officers and staff were involved in a raid at a business unit in Ringwood Road, Bournemouth.

Six suspected male victims, aged between 20 and 30, have been taken to a place of safety and are being given all the help and support they need. A 23-year-old man from Bournemouth has been arrested in connection with slavery offences and released on bail.

Detective Superintendent Kevin Connolly said: “The operation is the result of a detailed and protracted inquiry and our primary aim is to protect and safeguard vulnerable victims.”

Police were assisted by agencies including Bournemouth Borough Council, the National Crime Agency (UK Human Trafficking Centre) and the Red Cross.

Det Supt Connolly added: “Human trafficking is happening up and down the country. It is a serious offence and Dorset Police remain committed towards tackling such cases.”