Seven people have been charged in connection with a police investigation into nationwide sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Raids have been carried out in Hertfordshire, London, and north-west England after concerns were raised about sexual services being advertised online.

Lancashire Constabulary says a number of women have been safeguarded and mobile phones seized.

The latest action by the force’s exploitation team saw a 47-year-old man from Accrington, Lancashire, arrested on October 11 on suspicion of keeping a brothel.

Hongli YI, 47, of Whalley Road, Accrington, has since been charged with controlling prostitution and has been remanded in custody.

Five men and a woman have previously been charged with human trafficking and controlling prostitution following the launch of an operation in September.

They are: Philip Kee, 45, of Haseldine Road, London Colney; Li Neng Leong, 38, of Haseldine Road, London Colney; Wanchun Zang, 57, of no fixed address; Xinghai Zhou, 49, of Etchingham Road, London; Yi Chen Cheng, 60, of no fixed address; and Shi Guang Zhong, 39, of St Bees Close, St Helens.

They have also all been remanded in custody.