Police have visited hand car washes across Huntingdonshire as part of ongoing efforts to combat modern slavery.

Officers visited 10 sites in Huntingdon, St Neots, and St Ives on Monday January 5.

During the visits, officers engaged with workers and business owners to ensure the well-being of all involved.

While no victims were identified, officers gave words of advice regarding the right to work in the UK.

Despite the majority of hand car washes being legitimate businesses, there have been multiple cases of modern slavery linked to the industry nationally, making it a focal point for police attention.

Signs of modern slavery relevant to car washes include people:

  • seeming overly tired
  • showing signs of physical abuse
  • appearing intimidated by employers
  • lacking protective equipment
  • not being able to come and go as they wish
  • being unpaid or paid very little
  • working excessively long hours

Huntingdon neighbourhood inspector, Colin Norden, who led the initiative, said: “Ensuring the welfare of our community is paramount, and our visits to hand car washes on Monday underscore our commitment to combat modern slavery.

“While no victims were identified during our inspections, our engagement with workers and business owners sends a clear message that we are vigilant in protecting people against exploitation.

“It’s crucial for everyone to be aware of the signs of modern slavery, and we encourage anyone to report if they see something that doesn’t look right. 

“We would much rather attend the premises and discover everything is legitimate than have a victim of slavery trapped in a horrific situation."

For more information on recognising signs of modern slavery or to make a report, visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website.

Cambs Times: Police officers visited hand car washes across Huntingdonshire to combat modern slavery.Police officers visited hand car washes across Huntingdonshire to combat modern slavery. (Image: Police)