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Officers visit car washes to tackle modern slavery concerns

Officers visit car washes to tackle modern slavery concerns  
Officers visit car washes to tackle modern slavery concerns  

Our officers from Castle Point and Rochford Community Policing team (CPT) conducted visits to hand car wash establishments to ensure businesses aren’t using people for forced labour. 

Operation Bagshot was created due to officers receiving and gathering numerous pieces of intelligence surrounding hand car washes in the Rochford area. Rochford Council worked alongside our officers by attending these visits to ensure there wasn’t anyone being subjected to poor living conditions. 

The purpose of the operation was to identify possible victims of human trafficking or forced labour, identify any criminality and identify any trading standards issues. Visits to these premises ensure that any possible victims of human trafficking or forced labour can be safeguarded and taken to a place of safety by our officers.

Our officers checked two locations and twelve individuals were spoken with and identification was checked. There were not any victims of human trafficking or forced labour identified as a result of these visits, however referrals to environmental health were made. Should officers had found victims of forced labour, they would have been able to arrest those identified as perpetrators under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

Pc Ian Risden said: “Random visits and checks to premises remind businesses that we will not tolerate any form of forced labour or human trafficking. Our role as police officers is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all members of the public. We’re pleased to see that there were no victims of forced labour or human trafficking identified. 

“We will be continuing to randomly check premises without prior notice to ensure all legal requirements are met and all workers are safe.”

For more information on how to spot the signs and how to report human trafficking and modern slavery, please call the National Modern Slavery helpline on 0800 0121 700 or visit www.essex.police.uk/beavoice
 

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