The Eroticism of Fat Men
PUBLISHED: 10:24, 5 December 2013 | UPDATED: 20:40, 5 December 2013
Brothels, sex shops and lap dancing clubs have been raided by more than 200 police in a major crackdown on organised crime in central London.
Officers made 29 arrests as part of an undercover operation to root out drugs, prostitution and people trafficking in Soho.
Around a dozen women who were found in squalid rooms after apparently being brought into the country for prostitution were taken to safe locations for questioning.
Scroll down for video and an interactive map
They seized class A drugs, cash and stolen smartphones.
More arrests were made this morning and officers are still searching over 20 addresses, including the homes of many of the suspects.
Suspect: A man is arrested as part of the operation, but it has not been revealed what alleged offence he is being held on suspicion of committing
Commander Alison Newcomb of Westminster Police told The Evening Standard: ‘Yes, its edginess is why some people come here, but when they do come here we want them to be safe, not to be robbed, and enjoy their night out.’
People are 146 times more likely to be robbed in Soho than in the rest of the UK.
Cdr Newcomb said: ‘These operations have given us a much clearer intelligence picture and evidence of connections between criminals and crime types that were happening in Soho, from street drug dealers to links with human traffickers.
Investigation: A woman believed to be an employee of a business advertising massages covers her face (left), while (right) a police officer waits in the entrance of a premises
Held: An officer handcuffs a man (left) outside one of the locations while another (left) leads a woman away
‘This part of London has been almost a constant feature as a crime hotspot for the Met so we have used a range of specialist officers, skills and policing tactics to make this a hostile area for criminals to try and operate in.’
The Metropolitan Police will now apply for closure orders to shut down premises linked to serious crime.
Click on this interactive map to see evidence gathered during the operation
Gathering evidence: An officer leaves a location with a sniffer dog (left), while others search a premises (right)
Cdr Newcomb said: ‘The next step will be to work to close a number of the brothels where we have evidence of very serious crimes happening, including rape and human trafficking.
‘Financial investigators will now follow the money trail and will go where the evidence takes them, unpicking if there are broader criminal networks involved.
‘We will continue to do all we can to make this a hostile environment for criminals to try and operate in. The next phase of this operation is already in the planning.’
Decisive action: Police will now apply for closure orders to shut down premises linked to serious crime
Councillor Philippa Roe, Leader of Westminster City Council, said: ‘The night time economy is a cornerstone of the West End’s success and, as part of the West End Partnership, Westminster City Council works to promote the area as a safe place for law abiding people to live and do business.
‘Drugs, theft, handling stolen goods and human trafficking have no part in that which is why Westminster City Council stands shoulder to shoulder with the Metropolitan Police Service in Operation Demontere.
‘Together, we’re sending the clear message that the insidious tentacles of the criminal underworld will not be allowed to spread through Soho unchecked and unchallenged.
‘Tonight’s raids struck a significant blow against the criminal infrastructure. Now, however, we want to be just as clear that Westminster City Council is ready to help any vulnerable woman – themselves victims of crime, trapped in a way of life where they have little or no control. For us, their safety is paramount.’
Codenamed Demontere, the operation has been months in the planning using evidence gathered by undercover officers and other policing tactics to target those people using various businesses as a front for handling stolen goods.
Previously, operations – codenamed Jolt and Rense – have taken place since May 2012, using a range of policing tactics and specialist officers from across the Met, to tackle the drugs market in Soho.
To date, as part of these operations, 73 drug dealers and users have been arrested, being jailed for over 170 years in total, or have anti-social behaviour orders in place against them.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2518613/Soho-brothels-sex-shops-lap-dancing-clubs-raided-crackdown-drugs-people-trafficking.html#ixzz2megb9ZqZ
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