The BBC is reporting that London police have rescued 3 women from a south London home who were held as slaves. One of the women, 69, has been held for 30 years.

Timeline from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/n…

The police statement:

This morning at approximately 7.30pm [sic] we arrested two people in their 60s at an address in Lambeth as part of an investigation into slavery and domestic servitude.

We were contacted in October by Freedom Charity after they had received a call from women stating they were being held against their will at an address in London for more than 30 years.

Through further investigation, we were able to identify the house where they were being held.

With the help of sensitive negotiations conducted by the charity, the three women, a 69-year-old from Malaysia, a 57-year-old from Ireland, and a 30-year-old British woman, were all rescued.

All three women were highly traumatised and were taken to a place of safety, where they remain. They are in the care of a charity who deal with people who are deeply traumatised.

These are deeply traumatised people and it is essentially that we work sensitively to establish the facts in this case.

When we had established the facts, we conducted the arrests this morning.

We have established that all three women were held in this situation for at least 30 years. They did have some controlled freedom.

The human trafficking unit of the Metropolitan police deals with many cases of servitude and forced labour. We have seen some cases where people have been held for up to 10 years, but we have never seen anything of this magnitude before.