Police announce rescue of three women held captive in London home for 30 years

Friday, November 22, 2013

File photo of iconic sign at current Metropolitan Police headquarters.
Image: Man vyi.

London's Metropolitan Police announced yesterday they conducted an operation last month to rescue three women held as slaves for thirty years in a house in Lambeth, south London. They were freed on October 25 after one of the women reported her situation to a non-profit dealing with forced marriage cases.

Police said: "Police were contacted in October by Freedom Charity after they had received a call from a woman stating she had been held against her will in a house in London for more than 30 years. Further inquiries by police revealed the location of the house and with the help of sensitive negotiations conducted by the charity the three women, a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old British woman, were all rescued."

The three women were allegedly held in captivity by two 67-year-olds, a man and a woman, who were both arrested and released on bail until January. The 30-year-old woman has had "no contact with the outside world", police said.

Police called it the worst case of slavery in modern-day Britain.

Freedom Charity, the non-profit which reported the case to the police, was contacted by the Irish woman who had seen a documentary on ITV about forced marriages. A week after the call was made, and after further investigations by the police, the women were freed.

Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, from the human trafficking unit at the Metropolitan Police, said they had "never seen anything of this magnitude before" and said the women were "highly traumatised".