Fenland District Council up for another national award for role in Operation Pheasant

Officers entering a house in Colvile Road, Wisbech, as part of Operation Pheasant.

Officers entering a house in Colvile Road, Wisbech, as part of Operation Pheasant. - Credit: Archant

A council’s role in an ongoing operation to tackle the exploitation of migrant workers by gangmasters has been shortlisted for another national award.

Fenland District Council is nominated for the “Partnership of the Year” category of this year’s Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

Last year, the council’s role in the multi-agency Operation Pheasant won it two trophies in the MJ Awards, organised by the Municipal Journal.

The co-ordinated action, which is spearheaded by Cambs Police, also involves HM Revenue and Customs, the Gangmaster Licensing Authority, Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue and Home Office Immigration Enforcement.

Last month, jail sentences handed down to two Latvian gangmasters who were exploiting vulnerable migrant workers. Through evidence gathered from Operation Pheasant and Operation Endeavour, Ivars Mezals and Juris Valujevs were convicted for their work that left many people in poverty and living in constant fear.

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Councillor John Clark, FDC’s Leader, said: “It is very good news that the partnership work through Operation Pheasant continues to build on its success, and is recognised for the positive outcomes that it delivers.

“The shortlisting is also a fitting reward and recognition for all the hard work and commitment of our officers.

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“The joined-up work and excellent communication across all the agencies involved in tackling exploitation and rogue landlords has made a real difference to many people’s lives.”

Shortlisted entries will make presentations to the panel of judges later this month.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on March 11.

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