Potential illegal workers and unsafe work environments found at two car washes in Hartlepool

Investigations have taken place at two car washes in Hartlepool and potential illegal workers and unsafe work environments have been raised as issues.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 5:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 10:25 am
Two car washes have been investigated on visits by officers.
Two car washes have been investigated on visits by officers.

On Tuesday, December 10, officers from Hartlepool’s Neighbourhood Police Team along with Regional Crime Officers (NERSOU), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and members of the Environment Agency carried out targeted visits at two car washes in Hartlepool.

They completed checks with regards to modern slavery, exploitation and safe working practices after reports of concerns raised by members of the public.

A range of potential issues which include national minimum wage, illegal workers and unsafe work environments were identified on the visits.

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Further inquiries by HMRC, Health and Safety executive and HM Immigration are set to take place.

Sergeant Adrian Dack, of the Hartlepool Community Safety Team, said: “Ensuring the safety and welfare of workers at places like the car washes in the town is essential in ensuring those who use them are doing so in a safe environment.

“We have attended with a number of our partner agencies to maximise our opportunities to achieve this.

"On the back of it a number of issues have been identified which the owners need to address.

“There will be follow up visits and enforcement action taken to make sure that they comply.”

A “Safe Car Wash” app is available offering the chance for members of the public to share any concerns they may have about the way the car wash is working and the safety of the staff who work there. More information is available at www.theclewerinitiative.org/safecarwash.