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Second modern slavery arrest in Cumbria ‘shed’ investigation

16 April 2019

A second man has been arrested by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) on suspicion of modern slavery offences in connection with allegations that a vulnerable worker lived in a shed and was exploited over a 40-year-period.

GLAA officers supported by Cumbria Police arrested the 53-year-old British man at a fixed residential site north of Carlisle on the morning of Tuesday 16 April.

He is currently in custody being questioned.

Investigators previously released a 79-year-old British man under investigation after rescuing the worker from a six-foot shed he was believed to have been living in all his adult life.

The potential victim, who is a 58-year-old British man, has been receiving specialist support over the last six months.

GLAA Senior Investigating Officer Martin Plimmer said: “Our priority since we made the initial arrest has been to ensure that the potential victim has been given all the necessary help and support. This was clearly the right thing to do.

“Alongside this, we have ensured that all lines of enquiry have been thoroughly and objectively explored which has resulted in today’s arrest. I would again like to thank my team for their utmost professionalism and dedication in what is a challenging case.

“If anyone who is reading this has any information, however small, please contact us. You will be spoken to in full confidence and could provide us with crucial evidence.”

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Harkins, of North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “Cumbria Police are working closely with the GLAA to ensure all lines of enquiry are explored.

“We have assisted with the arrests and will continue to support the GLAA investigation in any way we can.”

Anyone with information on this investigation should get in touch with the GLAA’s intelligence team on 0800 4320804 or email

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