/ Two people arrested in dawn raids

Three people have been arrested following dawn raids aimed at disrupting the supply of drugs and the criminal exploitation of vulnerable adults in Manchester.

Shortly after 6am this morning (Friday 15 March) officers executed search warrants at six addresses in the Beswick area of Manchester.

Three men, two aged 18 and one aged 22 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and engaging in human trafficking for the purpose of criminal exploitation.

They remain in custody for questioning.

The arrests were made as part of Operation Fosbury, an ongoing investigation being led by the City of Manchester Complex Safeguarding Hub into the exploitation of vulnerable adults and children within the Beswick area.

The new multi-agency team* which includes specialist detectives from GMP, has been established to combat the increasing risk of vulnerable people, particularly young people, being sexually and criminally exploited.

Detective Inspector Andy Buckthorpe from GMP’s Complex Safeguarding hub said: “Our aim is to target and disrupt those individuals who seek to exploit children and vulnerable adults and we will take every opportunity to target and prosecute offenders.

“This particular investigation focuses on helping vulnerable people who we believe have been exploited and forced to drug deals in other areas of the UK in what is widely known as ‘County Lines’ offending.

“As a result of the investigation, we have been able to identify a number of vulnerable people within the Manchester area who have been exploited in the most horrendous way by organised criminals and they will now receive bespoke multi-agency support.”

Criminal exploitation or ‘Trapped’ as it is referred to across Greater Manchester is a form of criminal exploitation that sees offenders use children or vulnerable people for the purposes of selling drugs.

They could be trafficked around the local area, or taken to areas with no obvious links or connections and this often involves the victim being subjected to deception, intimidation, violence, financial exploitation and grooming.

Are you being made to commit crime on behalf of someone else? Are you fearful for yourself or your family’s safety? Find out more at: www.programmechallenger.co.uk/Trapped

Anyone with concerns either about themselves or somebody else can contact the police via the LiveChat facility on the GMP website or 101 in a non-emergency situation.

You can also report details anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Always dial 999 when there is an emergency or an immediate threat to life.

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