(photo credit: REUTERS)
Police in England are questioning five people - held after a raid on a
traveler camp revealed 24 men detained against their will under
Police raided the caravan site in Bedfordshire, north of London, on Sunday.
A law enforcement official says at least 28 other people had already escaped.
Detective, Chief Inspector Sean O'neill said, "Today we found 24 people being held against their will
on the site, being kept in appalling conditions, covered in excrement,
poor clothing, poor general condition. We are having to investigate
that. Prior to that we were aware of up to 28 people that have escaped
the site, but we really don't know how many people have been here in the
past year or so."
The official goes on to describe the filthy conditions in which the people were forced to live.
"In the past, people have been held in horse boxes. In
dog kennels. There's examples here today of out buildings and caravans.
They tend to be old caravans, falling apart - there's no electricity,
there's no running water. People have their hair cut, put in dirty
clothing. They are made to work doing any form of labouring, rather than
being given proper food or money for their labor," Detective O'neill said.
Some of the men found are English, while others are from Eastern Europe.
Police also found weapons, drugs and money at the site.