Two suspected brothels were raided by police in Northampton as part of a regional bid to clamp down on sex trafficking.
The operation saw warrants carried out in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Birmingham by officers from the Force Intelligence Bureau who worked alongside colleagues in EMoPPS (East Midlands Operational Support Services unit).
As a result five people aged between 20 and 69 have been arrested for conspiracy to keep or manage brothels and for money laundering offences.
The force has not revealed which locations were running as a suspected brothel in Northampton.
The five were arrested from two addresses in Northampton and one in Leicester. Officers carried out further warrants and welfare checks at addresses in Northampton, Birmingham and Nottingham, all of which were being used as brothels, the force says.
Six women have been taken to a place of safety.
All those arrested have been released on bail pending further investigation.
DS Dale Pope from the Force Intelligence Bureau said:“Yesterday’s activity was a success and gave us more evidence that human trafficking and modern slavery is happening in this county.
“This force is committed to protecting people from harm and we will do all we can to safeguard vulnerable people who may be victims of sexual exploitation.
“We know there are people being kept in slavery in Northamptonshire and we need the public to be aware of the signs to look out for and to report suspicious activity.
“This could be multiple occupancy of a property with people being collected early in the morning and brought home late at night.
“It could be that you notice workers are not dressed appropriately for outdoor work including gardening, washing cars or in agriculture.
“It could be that somebody is working as what is sometimes called a ‘modern-day Cinderella’ in domestic servitude or being made to work in the sex trade in ‘pop-up brothels’ against their will.
“Often victims don’t have any ID documents or cash and they are effectively trapped. Any vulnerable person can be a victim of human trafficking, it could be somebody who doesn’t speak English but that’s not necessarily the case – it can happen to anybody who has some form of vulnerability.
“Anybody who wishes to report anything suspicious should call police on 101 or go to www.modernslavery.co.uk for help and advice, or call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.”