Hampshire Police have taken part in a week-long EU wide operation to tackle modern day slavery.
The focus of the operation led nationally by the National Crime Agency was on maritime and land labour exploitation.
A number of teams from across the force, including marine unit officers, neighbourhood policing teams, intelligence and investigations officers took part in visits to identify modern day slavery.
They visited vessels in the Solent and car washes across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to identify and safeguard potential victims of modern day slavery. We also looked to identify criminal activity and deal with the perpetrators.
Inspector Dave Humphries said: “There were two aspects to this operation into labour exploitation, we were looking at potential modern day slavery on the water and also at car washes in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.
“Car washes are known to be a common model for labour exploitation and neighbourhood officers have been visiting all sites within the two counties.
“We also conducted focused multi-agency visits with Immigration, HMRC and the Medaille Trust to sites where we had identified concerns from previous visits, or we had specific intelligence to investigate further.
“As a result of the visits we have some enquiries to follow up, we have also referred a case to HMRC to look into further.
“It is important for us to continue this type of activity with partners to identify and disrupt modern day slavery with a focus on safeguarding those workers being exploited. In many cases it takes time for us to engage with victims and for them to feel able to give details of their experiences. Specialist officers are trained to work with victims and provide them with the support they need to be able to escape from the Modern Slavery they are suffering.”