SEVEN people were arrested at hand car washes across Barnsley last week for immigration offences and thousands of pounds worth of cash was also seized from one location.

Operation Duxford saw hundreds of police officers take to the streets of Barnsley last Wednesday.

A total of 11 arrests were made throughout the day for a range of offences including robbery, possession of drugs with intent to supply, immigration offences and assault.

The highly-visible police operation, which saw the force once again join together with multiple partners including Barnsley Council as part of the ‘Joining Forces’ initiative, focused heavily on exploitation and organised criminality.

Five early morning warrants were executed at addresses across the town, leading to one arrest and the seizure of cannabis plants, three shotguns and a machete.

Barnsley Chief Inspector John Mallows said: “Operation Duxford is a highly-visible policing operation which sees us work alongside several of our partners to tackle issues which we know are impacting our communities.

“We know that we are stronger when we work together and that is why the ‘Joining Forces’ initiative is really important, and something which we wholly support.”

Safeguarding visits were also carried out at five hand car washes across the borough as part of Operation Bubbles.

Seven arrests were made for immigration offences.

Operation Bubbles is the police’s dedicated approach to tackling modern slavery and exploitation at hand car washes, and sees work alongside partners including the Immigration Service and Department for Work and Pensions.

In one of the car washes, £3,000 worth of cash was also seized.

“We’ve seen some great results from the day of action, particularly related to the safeguarding visits made at the hand car washes,” Insp Mallows added.

“Exploitation and modern slavery is something we are committed to tackling, not just in Barnsley but across the whole of South Yorkshire, and it is our goal to protect those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

“These days of action also allow us to focus on specific areas where we can speak to local residents and get their views and insight into issues that are affecting them.

“It also provides us with the opportunity to build our relationship with community groups and allows them to have their say on the work we are delivering to their community.”

Alongside Barnsley Council, officers carried out visits to petrol stations experiencing issues with petrol thefts, visits to young people identified as at risk of exploitation, and joint town centre patrols to provide support to those presenting as homeless.

Over the course of the day, officers and partners engaged over 1,300 people through their activities.

Coun Wendy Cain, cabinet spokesperson for public health and communities, said: “It’s been another successful Operation Duxford and we are very pleased with the outcomes of this joint effort.

“I would like to thank all those involved from our Safer Neighbourhoods team and the South Yorkshire Police for their hard work.

“Through Joining Forces, we continue to work with our partners to make sure our borough continues to be a safe place for our residents and visitors.

“If you are concerned about crime and antisocial behaviour in your local area, please contact the South Yorkshire Police.”