Officers from Northumbria Police have served the owner of a South Tyneside car wash with a prohibition notice, shutting down the business because of dangerous working conditions.

On Thursday January 26, the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) Disruption Team carried out a visit to the Tyne Dock Hand Wash car wash on Hudson Street, South Shields, alongside Health and Safety Executive (HSE), HM Revenue and Customs, Immigration Enforcement and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), after concerns were raised over the welfare of staff and their working conditions.

Officers found that the premises had unsafe electrical appliances in use as well as unsafe electrical wiring for two buildings which required immediate attention.

The business was served a prohibition notice and cannot reopen until the safety concerns have been addressed.

Sergeant Neil Lovat from the NEROCU Disruption Team said: “This is yet another example of the ongoing work with partners to not only safeguard workers but ensure the safety of the public as well.

“I want to thank those who reported their concerns, and I would ask members of the public to continue to help us and act as our eyes and ears in the community.

“If you see something suspicious, or you have concerns about someone’s welfare, you should always report it.

“Under the banner of Operation Sentinel, our initiative to tackle and disrupt serious and organised crime, we will continue to work alongside our partners to identify and protect vulnerable people.”

He said if anyone has any concerns about a local business or individuals who they think might be at risk of exploitation, they can contact their local police force via their website or by calling 101.

Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.