Telford properties searched in anti-slavery operation
Checks carried at Telford properties where suspected modern day slaves are living revealed gas safety and licensing breaches.
The issues were among serious deficiencies discovered at addresses during a day of action to safeguard residents caught up in slavery and human trafficking.
The operation led by the borough council’s public protection team included its Rogue Landlord Taskforce, officers from West Mercia Police, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Home Office.
It was part of Operation AIDANT, a national operation into vulnerability, exploitation and modern slavery.
The aim was to improve intelligence gathering around the issue.
Using tip-offs about the possible exploitation of eastern and central European workers, the landlord taskforce visited a number of properties to check on the welfare of migrants and their living conditions.
And the team found serious deficiencies in the condition of the homes including a lack of gas safety certification and licensing breaches.
That same day the joint team visited four food establishments where they carried out hygiene inspections and gas safety checks.
The new owner of one of the premises had not properly registered with Telford & Wrekin Council and as a result one health and safety prohibition notice and one health and safety improvement notice were issued.
At two premises food hygiene practices were found to be unsatisfactory and evidence was taken with a view to taking further legal action.
Telford & Wrekin Council’s enforcement boss Councillor Richard Overton said: “Our officers and other organisations regularly work together to carry out inspections and investigations on premises and people and, where necessary, take action.
“By working together and combining our different roles and responsibilities we are able to share intelligence and, by seeing the bigger picture, we can identify if something untoward is happening.”
“We will continue to strive to make everyone in our borough safe and feel safe.”
The operation was carried out on January 31.
The UK Modern Slavery Helpline can be contacted on on 08000 121 700.