A MAN has been arrested after a raid on two hand car washes in Barnsley.
The 24-year-old Romanian man was arrested by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) following a raid which was supported by partner agencies.
The simultaneous raids were carried out at the car washes on Thursday morning and following his arrest, was released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Two Romanian men have entered the government’s National Referral Mechanism, a process which ensures potential victims of modern slavery and labour exploitation are given the help and support that they require.
The potential victims had said that their ID cards and mobile phones had been withheld at different points, and that they had suffered burns to their hands and arms through not having the appropriate protective equipment when cleaning vehicles.
Several workers at both hand car washes were interviewed on site about their working and living conditions.
GLAA officers also seized mobile phones, CCTV footage from the car washes and other evidence which may prove critical to the investigation.
GLAA Investigating Officer Steve Brookes, who led the operation, said: “Modern slavery and exploitation occurs across the labour market but is perhaps most noticeable to the public in businesses such as hand car washes, which are visible and widely used.
“We would encourage people to report their suspicions to us and be aware of the signs of exploitation at these car washes. Are the workers wearing protective equipment? Is their clothing appropriate for the time of year? Are they unable to speak English and looking nervous? These are just a few of the signs of exploitation.”