HARD-hitting posters depicting the grim reality of the trade in sex slavecs are being distributed by police.

The posters and postcards, with graphic images designed to shock anyone with information into coming forward, are being put out as part of Operation Radium, a high profile crackdown on human trafficking in Cambridgeshire.

Police believe as many as 100 brothels are running in Cambridgeshire, many under the guise of other businesses or even in quiet residential areas.

Not all of the women who work in them do so by choice.

According to detectives, some of the women working as prostitutes are smuggled into the country, or lured in with the promise of other jobs, then are forced to work as sex slaves.

Some have reported being beaten, even having bones broken, by vicious minders, and others have been sold in pub auctions between brothel gangs.

Police have already rescued several girls and women from the clutches of these evil operators, including one 16-year-old Ugandan who was 24-weeks pregnant when she was freed, but hope the posters will bring in more information vital to the inquiry.

Det Chief Insp Kevin Vanterpool, who has taken over as the new head of Cambridgeshire’s Serious and Organised Crime Squad, said: “It may shock some people to see these posters. I make no apology for that.

“It is vital that we catch and hold the public’s interest and help in rescuing the girls who are victims of this trade and breaking the criminal gangs who manipulate young lives to line their own grubby pockets.”

The posters and postcards will be distributed by local policing teams in and around Cambridge, Huntingdon, Fenland and beyond.

Scores of people, including women working as prostitutes through choice, have called police with information to aid Operation Radium.

Detectives and police analysts are sifting through the information to assess its value and try to create a picture of who is running the trafficking trade and where they operate from.

det chief insp kevin vanterpool
Det Chief Insp Kevin Vanterpool
Det Chief Insp Vanterpool said: “We are delighted with the help we are getting. Please keep the information coming in.

“Even the smallest piece of intelligence could be a vital clue to help us prevent young lives being destroyed.”

Anyone with information should contact Cambridgeshire police on 0845 4564564, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Please state you are calling about Operation Radium.

From: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/region_wide/2007/09/03/0451905f-ad07-4903-935d-0b323d3a7b98.lpf