Man arrested after ‘slavery’ raids at Barnsley car washes

A man has been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences following two raids of car washes in Barnsley.

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The 24-year-old Romanian man was arrested by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority following an operation on Thursday, October 4.

A man was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences

A man was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences

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He was later released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Two Romanian men identified as potential victims of modern slavery and labour exploitation are being offered support.

The men claimed that their ID cards and mobile phones had been taken from them.

They had also suffered burns to their hands and arms through a lack of protective equipment when cleaning vehicles.

Several workers at both hand car washes were interviewed about their working and living conditions.

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GLAA officers seized mobile phones and CCTV footage from the car washes.

The operation was supported by officers from South Yorkshire Police, HMRC and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.

GLAA Investigating Officer, Steve Brookes, said: “Modern slavery and exploitation occurs across the labour market but is perhaps most noticeable to the public in businesses such as hand car washes, which are visible and widely used.

“We would encourage people to report their suspicions to us and be aware of the signs of exploitation at these car washes.

“Are the workers wearing protective equipment? Is their clothing appropriate for the time of year? Are they unable to speak English and looking nervous? These are just a few of the signs of exploitation."

Call 0800 4320804 or email intelligence@gla.gov.uk to repoprt potential slavery and exploitation.