Durham Police have arrested two people on suspicion of slavery offences following Darlington raid
TWO men have been arrested on suspicion of committing modern slavery offences.
cops raided the ‘Best Hand Car Wash’ on Yarm Road, Darlington on Wednesday, December 6th and arrested two men, aged 21 and 26. They are currently in police custody.
Five suspected slavery victims were found working at the car wash. The men have been taken to a victim reception centre where they will be supported by specially trained officers and other agencies.
The raid was carried out by Durham Constabulary, with support from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) who detained the men on suspicion of offences under the Modern Slavery Act.
It is the first operation of its kind in Darlington and forms part of Operation Sledgehammer, the force’s long-running campaign to tackle serious and organised crime.
Detective Sergeant Tonya Cook, from Durham Constabulary’s safeguarding team, led the investigation. “As a force, we take allegations of modern slavery extremely seriously and are committed to investigating and tackling the exploitation of vulnerable people,” she said.
“Modern slavery is an emerging threat nationally. We are working with our partners to tackle this complex type of crime and are committed to supporting those who are victims.
“However, we also need to ask the community to consider where they spend their money. Modern slavery is happening in plain sight here in County Durham and Darlington and takes many different forms – think about where you get your car washed or where you get your nails done.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to look out for potential victims, and I would urge anyone who has any concerns about activity relating to people being exploited in this way to report it to us.”
Dave Powell, senior investigating officer for the GLAA said: “Today’s action illustrates the approach taken to tackling modern slavery across the UK is now built upon a strong alliance between law enforcement and other agencies.
“Working in partnership to protect vulnerable and exploited workers is at the heart of what we do and the GLAA is committed to doing all it can to help eradicate these illegal working practices that cause such misery.”
Following the raid, the premises was secured and further enquiries were conducted by representatives from the Health and Safety Executive, Trading Standards, North East Regional Special Operations Unit, Northumbrian Water and immigration officers.
Support was also provided by Darlington Borough Council and the British Red Cross who worked in partnership with the police and GLAA to run the victim reception centre.
John Morris, British Red Cross director of independent living and emergency response in the North of England, said: “The Red Cross was asked by Durham Constabulary to provide practical and emotional support to anyone evacuated as a result of this operation, in a place of safety.
“Our trained staff and volunteers were on hand to provide emotional support, as well as practical necessities such as clothing, refreshments and first aid.
“The Red Cross works alongside emergency services across the UK to help those in crisis.”
County Durham and Darlington Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, said: “No one should have to suffer at the hands of gangmasters. I am really pleased to see the victims being brought to safety and given the advice they need.”
Anyone with concerns about modern slavery happening in their area should call Durham Constabulary on 101 or the Modern Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.
Large sea search underway after person falls off DFDS ferry
The RNLI and Coastguard are currently searching the sea by boat and air after reports that a person has fell overboard.
A large search is underway in the North Sea after a passenger has fell overboard a large sea and air search and rescue mission is currently underway
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) March 8, 2018
The Coastguard and police helicopter is also assisting in the search after a passenger ferry reported that a person had gone overboard 35 miles from land.
A large scale search and rescue operation is underway off the coast of Tyneside after a ferry passenger was reported missing.
The coastguard has confirmed a passenger has been reported falling off a DFDS passenger ferry 35 miles off the coast of Tyneside a large scale search operation is underway
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) March 8, 2018
Just after 12.15pm today, HM Coastguard was notified of a missing passenger on a DFDS ferry that was on route from the Netherlands to North Shields, Tyneside.
HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Humberside is currently searching the area with Lifeboats from six RNLI stations including Filey, Scarborough, Whitby, Hartlepool, Tynemouth and Blythe.
Police Hour understands that one passenger was unaccounted for once the ferry returned to Newcastle From Amsterdam.
His luggage was there but he was unaccounted for, it is not known at what point the man has gone missing on the ship.
A source close to the coastguard has told Police Hour it is believed a man feel over the side of the ferry.
The search is 35 mile off in the North Sea Volunteers and the coastguard from Northumberland to Hull are currently searching for a person who fell off a passenger ferry
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) March 8, 2018
A Mayday relay broadcast has also been issued by HM Coastguard to inform all vessels in the area. Northumbria Police have also been informed.
The search is ongoing and we have no further information at this stage.
Two teenagers killed and seven people seriously hurt on A61 North Yorkshire
Two teenage boys believed to be aged 17 have sadly died and seven people have been seriously injured, including two children following a multi-car crash in Thirsk.
The road traffic crash happened at 9.25pm on Wednesday on the A61 between Busby Stoop and Carlton Miniott near Thirsk.
North Yorkshire Police have confirmed that two boys were pronounced dead at the scene.
Five other people, including two children, were taken to hospital.
The crash involved three vehicles – a black Ford Focus, a black Vauxhall Corsa and a green Volkswagen Bora.
Officers are appealing for witnesses and in particular want to hear from any motorists with dash cams who were on the road in the area prior to the crash.
They are asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for the Major Collision Investigation Team or email [email protected].
The road remains closed while the crash is investigated.
Piglet requiring urgent medical attention has been stolen
Cleveland Police have launched an urgent appeal to locate a piglet requiring urgent medical attention.
A ten-week-old piglet in need of urgent medical attention has been stolen overnight (Sunday 4th March into Monday 5th March) from a barn at Stewart Park in Middlesbrough.
The piglet, which is described as a black ‘iron age’ piglet is the approximate size of a Jack Russell dog.
The female piglet had an operation yesterday (Sunday 4th March) and requires urgent antibiotics within 24 hours.
Officers would appeal for anyone with information or anyone who knows the whereabouts of the piglet to get in touch as a matter of urgency by calling Cleveland Police on 101.
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