Two illegal immigrants arrested after police swoop during modern slavery and immigration operation

Police launched a week of action to tackle immigration and modern slavery offences at several local car washes and other businesses.
Police launched a week of action to tackle immigration and modern slavery offences at several local car washes and other businesses.

Two illegal immigrants have been arrested and companies fined after police raided several businesses in Lancashire.

Last week police launched a week of action to tackle immigration and modern slavery offences at several local car washes and other businesses.

Officers from the Pan Lancashire Anti-Slavery Partnership, including immigration control, HMRC, Lancashire County Council and the Health and Safety Executive, visited a number of businesses to make sure working conditions were safe and legal and that workers are not exploited.

Police say that four car washes were targeted in Blackburn, Lancaster, Garstang and Much Hoole, where documents were checked and workers were spoken to.

During the operation, two illegal immigrants, one in South Ribble and one in Blackburn, were arrested and a £40,000 fine was issued for allowing illegal workers onto the site.

Several other businesses were offered advice and information.

Det Sgt Stu Peall, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Team, said: “The arrests and fines issued during this week are as a result of intelligence we have received about labour exploitation, which is happening here in Lancashire.

“Everyone has the right to safe and legal working conditions and where offences take place, we will take action.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said: "Tackling modern slavery and human trafficking is a key priority for us in Lancashire, and this week of action is another sign of the work being done to help those being exploited and bring offenders to justice.

“I am proud that the resources I have put into this fight places us at the forefront of anti-trafficking work, making our communities safer, with the action taking place this week also highlighting the need for agencies and organisations across the county to work in partnership.

“By working together, sharing information with the authorities and supporting victims we can tackle this serious and often hidden crime."