Six prostitutes trafficked to the UK from Romania have been rescued after early morning police raids.

Officers for the Metropolitan Police's modern slavery unit swooped on three addresses in Colindale earlier today (August 4).

During the raids they rescued six modern slavery victims. It is suspected that they were all trafficked to the UK using a tactic known as ‘loverboy’.

Police believe that male recruiters would trick the women into dating them, before luring them to London where they were forced into prostitution.

The women are now being supported by specialist officers and charity Justice and Care.

A 24-year-old man who was subject to a UK court warrant has been arrested and taken to a north London police station.

At the same time as the raids in Colindale, Romanian police executed 12 warrants in and around the city of Iasi.

Five people were detained for questioning on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

Romanian police also recovered firearms and large quantities of cash, as well as high-value watches and vehicles.

Around 133 officers were deployed during the two-country operation.

Detective Inspector Melanie Lillywhite of the modern slavery unit said: “We need help from the public as they have an important role to play in recognising and reporting modern slavery.

“If you suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, report it."

She added: “Often those affected do not see themselves as potential victims of sexual exploitation and many will have been coerced into this life to make money for an organised crime network.

“Victims are often told the police and authorities in the UK are not to be trusted and with limited English are unable to seek help, even if they want to.

“We believe there are victims of modern slavery in every borough across London and the public may encounter them every day, possibly without realising.

“As well as being sexually exploited, victims have been found working in construction, domestic servitude, agriculture, cannabis factories and in places you use yourself, such as car washes, barbers and nail bars.”

If you suspect that you, or someone you have come into contact with, may be a victim of modern slavery or trafficking and require support, please call The Salvation Army’s 24 hour confidential referral helpline on 0800 808 3733.

You can also report a suspicion or seek advice through the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700.