A GLASGOW Times reader has helped snare two alleged human traffickers after reading about the crime in our newspaper.

Top cops have revealed that they received an anonymous tip-off with content that sparked an immediate police response.

Thanks to the letter, two men were arrested at a property in Glasgow and are due to appear at court.

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One of our readers was spurred to action after a story about human trafficking appeared in the Glasgow Times on December 1, 2020.

Detective Superintendent Fil Capaldi, head of Police Scotland’s National Human Trafficking Unit, said: “First and foremost, thank you for publishing that story on December 1 because these arrests came as a direct result of the article in the Times.

“We got an anonymous letter and the anonymous letter said: ‘Having seen the article in the Times today, December 1, we would hate to think that young women are being abused.’

“[The letter] goes on to talk about the detail of what was occurring and their concerns around that.”

Police received the anonymous letter and, Fil said, the contents immediately raised a red flag. 

Officers were dispatched to the property named in the letter, in the north of the city, within 20 minutes.

Two men were arrested in connection with brothel keeping and are due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

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The senior officer added: “It came to us, and within 20 minutes of me opening it and having a read we had officers on route to particular addresses, such were my concerns with the content.

“So officers went out to an address in Glasgow and as a direct result two males were arrested for brothel keeping and will appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court.”

Fil said the force is “wholly reliant” on the public to come forward with concerns and hopes this example will encourage others.

He said: “It’s something we’ve been banging the drum on for a long time. In terms of trafficking, in terms of exploitation, people are hiding in plain sight.

“And we’re always trying to get this message out there – if you see anything, don’t like the look of it, let us know and we’ll check it out. 

“If you don’t want to tell us, call Crimestoppers, call the Modern Slavery helpline but don’t sit on it, don’t keep it to yourself.”

Fil said officers will act quickly on tip-offs – because the risk is that victims will be left in horrific circumstances.

He added: “This is quick turnaround stuff.

“When we are in receipt of information like that we will act on it straight away. 

“It’s not the kind of thing we can sit on because the reality is that if someone is outlining these concerns to us, usually that gut feeling is the right one and you apply a bit of experience to that and think, ‘Right, we need to go now’.

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“Because if we don’t, that person is still going to be in that situation and the opportunities for intervention in harm coming to them get pushed out. As the direct result of a single letter we were able to act and intervene.”

Encouraging others to report any concerns, Fil said the signs to look out for include: comings and goings at strange hours; people being picked up and dropped off; one person speaking for a collective group; and people being escorted places. 

He said: “For example, in the Lanarkshire area for a sexual exploitation case we’re dealing with, it first came to our attention because the women were being escorted to the shops by their male chaperone every single day. 

“There’s a general perception that this is something that happens in bad movies, it’s a plot in a TV documentary but it’s not – it’s happening right here, right now, and it’s prevalent in most communities in Scotland and across Glasgow.”

Repeating his plea for witnesses to come forward, Fil added: “It’s not going to get any better for anyone if you sit on that information. 

“You don’t need to give your details, you don’t need to give your name, but we’ll still act on it.”

People can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.