Three women have been rescued from a house in south London after being held in captivity for 30 years. Police raided the home of a 67-year-old man and woman who reportedly held the women against their will for three decades. Police told reporters the captives were kept in "horrific conditions". The rescue took place after one of the women managed to gain access to a telephone and contacted Freedom Charity, which specializes in freeing victims of forced marriages. The police found a 69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman and a 30-year-old Briton. The British woman is believed to have been born in captivity and have no experience of life outside the house in which she was enslaved.
London police said: "This is the very early stages of a complicated and sensitive investigation. These women are highly traumatised, having been held in servitude for at least 30 years with no real exposure to the outside world." They added that: "Trying to find out exactly what has happened over three decades will understandably take some time." A spokeswoman from Freedom Charity expressed amazement at how the women could have been kept for so long in the middle of London without anyone knowing. She said: "In a very busy capital city, we often don't know our neighbours. We're looking at people who were kept against their will in an ordinary residential street in central London."