A STRIP club owner has spoken out about being arrested in a raid on his business – but police say officers were acting on intelligence from the community.

David Barrett, head of Black Cherry, in Lowesmoor, Worcester, was arrested alongside the club's manager, Ashwin Patel, on suspicion of modern slavery.

However, the owner said they were released a few hours after being detained - and neither of them have been charged.

Mr Barrett claims over seventy officers from West Mercia Police and partner agencies were involved in the raid.

He said: "Despite the intelligence that was acted upon being at best faulty and at worst malicious we welcome any investigation into the running of the club by the relevant authorities at any time.

"No slaves or other irregularities were found at any of the addresses searched and the club reopened the next night.

"The club remains committed to the objectives of the licensing laws and is the most regulated premises in Worcester, with a variety of conditions imposed on the licence to safeguard both customers and staff.

"The night-time economy of Worcester as a whole has been under the spotlight of late, with other venues being scrutinised.

"But Black Cherry remains a welcoming and safe venue for all and looks forward to continuing our service and providing entertainment now and into the coming year.

"I must stress that I appreciate the seriousness of the allegations, which turned out to be unfounded.

"Clearly the authorities have to act and investigate, but it would be nice to have an acknowledgement that the information acted on was incorrect and that the club continues to be a safe venue for staff and customers."

Mr Barrett added that the authorities took the dancers away from the club after the raid.

Responding to Mr Barrett's claims, Detective Inspector Mark Roberts said West Mercia Police carried out search warrants at two addresses in Lowesmoor.

He added: "Two men were arrested during the warrants. A 40-year-old man, from West Bromwich, and a 56-year-old man, from Worcester, were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery and have since been released under investigation.

“These type of warrants are an example of how we are committed to acting upon information we receive and carrying out full and proper investigations as a result.

“Tackling serious organised crime such as human trafficking is a vitally important part of our work to protect our communities.”

DI Roberts added that the warrants were based on intelligence from the local community and said the investigation is ongoing.

West Mercia Police said it and other agencies offered support to individuals, believed to be the dancers at Black Cherry, during the raid.

A source claimed that police also carried out a warrant at a dancer’s flat in Lowesmoor, smashing down the door to get in.

DI Roberts said: "Warrants unfortunately can cause damage to property such as doors.

“We had the appropriate services in place to make the premises secure after the completion of the warrant, but if any individual would like to discuss this directly to make a complaint please call 101 and we will investigate further.”

He emphasised the impact of human trafficking, modern slavery and exploitation and said that West Mercia Police would always act on intelligence to tackle these issues.

It is believed police searched the flats above Black Cherry, however a source claims these do not belong to Mr Barrett or the strip club.

The Black Cherry raid took place on November 16 and also involved the National Crime Agency, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Worcestershire County Council.

Lowesmoor was closed during the raids.