Three people were arrested for immigration offences following a day of action by a taskforce in Telford yesterday.
The arrests were made as the National Crime Agency raises awareness of labour exploitation with enforcement activity taking place in towns and cities across the country, targeting suspected criminals responsible for modern slavery.
Telford and Wrekin’s Multi-Agency Targeted Enforcement Strategy (MATES) team which includes Telford & Wrekin Council visited a number of premises across the borough.
As well as three people being arrested for immigration offences, some premises were also issued with waste violation notices and fined. Trading Standards and HMRC also seized illicit tobacco and counterfeit goods.
West Mercia Police Sergeant Ram Aston, of Telford’s Harm Reduction Hub, said:
“We know modern slavery is taking place right across the country and want to make sure we are doing all we can in Telford to tackle this issue and ensure those who are among the most vulnerable in our communities have help and support to break free from this exploitation.
“One of the great advantages of the MATES partnership is that all the different agencies come together to share information and play their part. As individual organisations we all have different roles and responsibilities but the unique position we have means we see and hear things that on their own might appear to be nothing, but when they’re put together as part of the bigger picture, lead us to evidence something untoward is happening.
“By working together as part of MATES we can better tackle issues such as modern slavery, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation and we really value the support we receive from the agencies involved.”
Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement said:
“We strive to make everyone in our borough safe and feel safe. Throughout the year, our officers carry out inspections and investigations on people and premises and, where necessary, take action. In addition, we regularly team up with our MATES partners for operations such as this. It’s on these occasions that the information gathered by our officers every day can play a vital part in tackling the bigger issues.”