A car wash in Southport has been raided by the authorities after it was suspected of carrying out human trafficking offences.

Merseyside Police officers, along with partners from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Health and Safety, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) and Operation Sanctuary joined forces in the operation.

At around 10am on Thursday 18 May, officers attended Dobbie’s Car Wash in Southport.

Following welfare interviews with all 12 members of staff, it was identified that the premises was operating illegally in relation to minimum wage offences and had breached health and safety.

Merseyside Police said the car wash company was issued with a large fine by HMRC and H&S officers, and one man in his 20s was arrested for immigration offences.

Detective superintendent John Webster said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the officers and our partners who were involved in investigating this case.

“We are committed to protecting the public, and in doing so we’ll continue working with partner agencies to prevent this type of criminal activity.

“Modern slavery is a despicable offence and abuses the victim’s human rights. We therefore encourage the reporting of this type of crime and I would urge anyone who has any information relating to modern slavery or human trafficking to contact 101, or anonymously through the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.”