Three men arrested on suspicion of labour exploitation after raid near Swavesey

Police raid A14 car wash, at Swavesey,

Police raid A14 car wash, at Swavesey, - Credit: Archant

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of labour exploitation after police raided a car wash off the A14 near Cambridge last night (Monday).

The men - aged 73, 29 and 20 - have been taken into custody at Huntingdon Police Station for questioning.

Five men and one woman, all of Romanian origin, were spoken to by officers last night and have been taken into voluntary protective custody in the form of the National Referral Mechanism.

The Hunts Post joined about 12 police officers, led by Chief Inspector James Sutherland, plus representatives from the Health and Safety Executive and HM Revenue and Customs as they descended on the car wash next to the Travelodge off the eastbound carriageway just after junction 28 near Swavesey.

One 24-year-old Romanian told waiting reporters outside a caravan at the back of the site that he was earning £3 per hour for 10-hour shifts to send money home to his family.


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Speaking last night, Pc Chris Daniel said: “We are here to check on their welfare, their working conditions and the environment they are in and to help them to find a way out should they need it.

“It is a safeguarding exercise to make sure that they are being treated fairly and the conditions they are being kept in are satisfactory.”

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A police spokesman added: “Officers have been developing intelligence into potential human trafficking and labour exploitation in South Cambridgeshire.

“Officers will speak with people there to establish what their current employment and living conditions are. Each worker will be interviewed and given the opportunity to be taken into voluntary protective custody in the form of the National Referral Mechanism.”

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