Multi-agency action on reported labour exploitation in Crawley
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Police and enforcement partners have taken action on reports of alleged modern slavery activity at a West Sussex car wash.
On Friday 16 April officers from Sussex Police, together with representatives from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Home Office Immigration Enforcement (IE), West Sussex Fire & Rescue (WSFRS), the Dept of Work & Pensions (DWP), and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) went to a car wash in London Road, Crawley, as part of an investigation into alleged fraud, modern slavery and health and safety offences.
A number of people working there were interviewed about working conditions. One of them was found to be illegally in the country, and was referred to the IE investigators.
Another man, aged 37, was reported by IE officers for a possible fine for allowing an illegal worker to be employed.
Fire officers served a Notice to prohibit the premises from being used for sleeping accomodation and HSE served a Notice prohibiting use of electricity in indoor parts of the site.
DWP investigators are continuing to look into reports of possible benefit fraud offences and arrested the 37-year old man on suspicion of fraud.
Chief Inspector Shane Baker, Crawley District Commander for Sussex Police, said; "We continue to work with partners to develop intelligence about any signs that vulnerable workers are being exploited over their conditions of employment and accommodation in Sussex,"
For advice and information on spotting signs of modern slavery and how to report it see the Sussex Police website.