Numerous police officers were seen at the Evershine Car Wash at the BP forecourt on Bridge End Road in Swindon earlier this week.
Their visit to the site was one of a series across Swindon to conduct immigration and welfare checks as part of Operation Aidant – a nationally co-ordinated campaign focusing on vulnerability, exploitation and modern slavery.
The visits were led by acting inspector Chris French and acting sergeant Nadia Aylett from the Stratton, Central Swindon North & West Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) with support from Central South NPT, Response and Specialist departments, while eight officers from Immigration and the lead housing enforcement officer from Swindon Borough Council also attended.
The teams attended five hand car washes in total. One person was arrested and subsequently de-arrested to remove them from the location due to modern slavery concerns, while another was dealt with by immigration for being an asylum seeker who hadn’t been through any process.
All paperwork was in order at the premises and a considerable amount of intelligence was gathered following the visits.
Acting inspector Chris French said: “Operation Aidant is run every year and involves local forces working alongside partner agencies to focus on vulnerability, exploitation and modern slavery.
“Our checks at premises across Swindon yesterday were aimed at ensuring that employees were working legally and being treated appropriately.
“It was a successful operation in collaboration with our partners and demonstrates that we will always take modern slavery and human trafficking incredibly seriously.
“We will always clamp down on employers breaching laws regarding immigration and employees rights.
“I would like to remind business owners that it’s your responsibility to check the immigration status of any employees you are hiring.