A man and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences at a car wash in Chesterfield.
Following concerns being reported by a member of the public, officers from Derbyshire Constabulary’s specialist modern slavery team went to a car wash in Chesterfield Business Park, Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, on Wednesday 10 July.
At the car wash officers spoke with two workers and subsequently attended a second car wash in the same area.
Officers went to the Spick and Span car wash in Brimington Road where they found three other men who it is believed were being exploited.
A 45-year-old woman from Chesterfield was arrested on suspicion of holding a person in slavery or servitude and for offences under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of holding a person in slavery or servitude.
They have been released on police bail as enquiries continue.
Officers were supported by colleagues from the Health and Safety Executive, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue and the housing and planning from Chesterfield Borough Council.
Detective sergeant Andy Wright, from Derbyshire Constabulary’s specialist modern slavery unit, said: “In Derbyshire we take the issue of modern slavery extremely seriously and we work closely with partner organisations to protect victims.
“Unscrupulous criminals will prey on vulnerable people who can be kept in dangerous conditions, threatened with physical violence and forced to work for little, and in some cases, no pay.
“A vital source of intelligence regarding modern slavery is the people of Derbyshire. Slaves may not always be obvious but there are thousands of people in the UK who are being kept in servitude every single day.
“Each day you could come in to contact with someone who is victim of modern slavery without realising. Some signs are physical – the people you see may look unkempt or malnourished and have un-treated injuries.
“Other signs can be less obvious – they may be picked up and dropped off for work at unusual times, they may have someone that speaks on their behalf and the money you pay them maybe immediately taken from them.
“If you recognise any of the above signs and suspect someone may be a victim of modern slavery, tell someone. You will always be taken seriously and protection and support is available.
“To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”