Seventeen people have been arrested in early morning raids across east London in an international human trafficking investigation.
Officers went to 16 addresses after working with Romanian police, who simultaneously raided four addresses in Romania and arrested one man.
In London, police took 29 potential victims – women aged between 20 and 40 – to a “place of safety”.
The suspects – 14 men and three women – remain in custody in central London.
The 17 arrested people, who are aged between 17 and 50, are being held on suspicion of modern slavery, controlling prostitution, Class A drug offences and firearm offences.
‘One fell swoop’
Det Ch Insp Richard McDonagh, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “The Met recognises the seriousness of modern slavery and the devastation it brings to people’s lives.
“Today’s synchronised operational activity [had] the aim of, in one fell swoop, dismantling an organised crime network and providing support to the victims.”
The London raids were carried out in Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Brentwood and Tower Hamlets.
A spokesman for Romanian police in the UK said: “Romanian police officers working shoulder to shoulder with our British partners is a great achievement, a proof of our mutual permanent support and a great professional reward.
“The Romanian police is committed to continue its efforts in combating all forms of criminality together with the Metropolitan Police.”
Commuters have been told not to travel from London Waterloo during the rush hour after a fire closed nine platforms.
The lineside blaze damaged cabling outside the station, meaning trains cannot use platforms 16-24.
Network Rail said “significant damage” had been caused to equipment, meaning trains will be delayed or cancelled.
Disruption is expected for the rest of the day while the Thursday morning rush hour may also be affected.
Network Rail said its engineers would be working through the night to fix the damage.
Waterloo is the busiest and largest railway station in the UK.
The platforms which are closed are normally used by trains serving Windsor, Reading, Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston.
However, services from other platforms are also being affected because trains have to be diverted or revised.
- Circular services via Hounslow, Richmond, Strawberry Hill and Kingston have been cancelled
- Trains between Waterloo and Windsor & Eton Riverside are diverted via Kingston
- Trains between Waterloo and Exeter/Salisbury are terminated and will restart from Basingstoke
Passengers were warned that services on other routes may also be subject to short-notice cancellations or delays.
In a joint statement, Network Rail and South Western Railway said commuters were “strongly advised to use alternative routes where possible and check their journeys before travelling at southwesternrailway.com for ticket acceptance and service details”.
Some passengers took to social media to express their frustration at the travel disruption.
One Twitter user described the situation as an “absolute shambles”, while others complained about being given the wrong or no information at all by train station staff.
An engineering train has derailed in south London causing the closure of the Gatwick Express service.
The train partly left the tracks at low speed outside Victoria station at about 03:00 BST.
No Gatwick Express trains are running, while Southern warned its services would be “severely reduced”.
The train has moved and the track will now be “assessed for damage” and repaired if necessary through the night, according to Southern.
Disruption is expected to last throughout Tuesday but Gatwick Express and Southern said a normal service was expected on Wednesday.
The train was stuck across a number of tracks meaning platforms nine to 13 at Victoria were blocked, while services were not able to use the “slow/stopping” lines to and from Clapham Junction.
Some trains were also unable to leave the Battersea depot – further reducing the number of services that could run.
Recovery teams cut the 50-tonne train from its two wagons and lifted it back on to the track using hydraulic jacks.
Trains running through Gatwick Airport were also disrupted by a separate signalling fault and a passenger who was injured as they left a carriage, which led to one platform becoming blocked.
Some commuters took to social media as they found their trains had been cancelled.
Other stations, including London Bridge, also became congested as people tried to find alternative routes.
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A Network Rail spokesperson said passengers should travel “via London Bridge or London Blackfriars as trains will be delayed, diverted or cancelled”.
Train tickets for Southern and Gatwick Express services have been accepted for reasonable routes on other services.
Train services affected:
- Gatwick Express services are completely suspended
- Services to Sutton, Epsom Downs and Epsom to and from London Victoria are reduced
- Some mainline services will be diverted to London Bridge instead of London Victoria
- Southern services between London Victoria and Reigate are cancelled and passengers are advised to use Thameslink to and from Redhill and then Great Western Railway between Reigate and Redhill
- Services between London Victoria and East Grinstead will call additionally at Selhurst and Streatham Common
- Services between Milton Keynes and East Croydon will call additionally at Wandsworth Common when not already booked to do so
- Services between London Victoria and Horsham via Sutton will call additionally at Ewell East
- Southern trains from Sutton to London Bridge via Wimbledon will be cancelled. Thameslink will be running as normal
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Leicester Riders won the BBL Play-offs title for a third season in a row by beating the London City Royals 93-61 in the final at the capital’s O2 Arena.
Leicester’s defensive intensity again proved decisive in a final as they held London to just 25 second-half points.
Tim Williams led Leicester’s scoring with 20 points and Jamell Anderson and JR Holder added 17 and 14 respectively.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning crowned a fine season with 19 points for the Royals and Orlan Jackman added 16.
The Royals stayed in touch in the opening two quarters with a Leicester side that has regularly won trophies in the last five years and their former Great Britain player Bryan-Amaning looking to make his presence felt close to the basket towards the end of the first half.
Down just 44-38 when Jackman scored the first basket of the second half, the Royals then conceded 11 unanswered points in a run triggered by Leicester’s Holder and Williams.
After the Riders went on a further 11-2 run, inspired by three-pointers from Anderson and Pierre Hampton, the Royals were 24 behind and they posted just 10 points in a third quarter in which the final was all but decided.
Riders continue dominance
Leicester’s win – in their sixth final in the past eight years – is their third play-offs title and equals the feat of Kingston, Worthing and Newcastle, who also scored hat-tricks in the play-offs.
Leicester coach Rob Paternostro said he had expected a closer contest but believed his team’s improvement in the second half of the season, after the rigours of their European campaign, had been instrumental in the win.
“Coming into the play-offs we became more of a group that was locked-in, especially on defence,” he said. “I’m super-proud of how locked-in mentally they were.
“We just thought that we had to get back on defence – we felt that when our defence was set up, we were going to be really tough to beat in this game. There weren’t many adjustments to make.”
Royals coach Jay Williams said: “We struggled with consistency throughout the season but in the big games we showed up – but today we just didn’t.
“Hats off to the Riders – they came out and executed their game plan and they were consistent the whole time through.
“We played hard but we didn’t play smart and the Riders exploited that. But the main thing is – we didn’t show up.”
Kenya’s half marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum has been suspended from competition following an athlete biological passport violation.
The 29-year-old had been due to compete in Sunday’s London Marathon.
Kiptum completed the Valencia half marathon in 58 minutes 18 seconds in October, five seconds quicker than the record set by Zersenay Tadese in 2010.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy on doping,” said London Marathon event director Hugh Brasher.
“We recently announced a groundbreaking extensive intelligence-driven testing programme. This shows the programme is working. Cheats will be caught and there is no place for them in marathon running.”
London Marathon organisers say Kiptum has left the city following the suspension issued by the Athlete Integrity Unit.
The athlete biological passport programme collects and compares biological data to spot discrepancies over time that suggest possible doping.
The build-up to this year’s marathon has already been overshadowed by a dispute between distance running greats Sir Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie, following an altercation surrounding an alleged theft at Gebrselassie’s hotel in Ethiopia.