Dame Sara says that the recent sentencing of two men for running a car wash modern slavery ring can be a wake up call for consumers
Dame Sara was interviewed by Simon Yaxley at BBC Radio Cumbria following the sentencing of two men, Defrim Paci and Sitar Ali, for running a modern slavery ring at a carwash in Carlisle, after an investigation by Cumbria Police. The investigation involved four victims, who were all Romanian nationals. Paci was jailed for 45 months and Ali for 39 months.
The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Dame Sara Thornton, noted the complexity of the investigation and commended the efforts of the Cumbria police force. She stated that the sentencing was the "right result" and that it sent a "strong signal" to others who are exploiting workers in the UK. Speaking about the prevalence of modern slavery in the UK, Dame Sara highlighted that hand car washes have become a high risk area of worker exploitation and modern slavery. She also called the case a "real wake up call" to the consumer and mentioned the Safe Car Wash App as an example of how the public can take an active role in the detection of modern slavery cases. (You can learn more about the Safe Car Wash App here.)
You can listen to the full BBC Radio Cumbria interview here (at 3:42:20).
Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, said:
“If we are getting that sort of personal service at a really cheap price, I think we do need to ask ourselves - are other people paying the price through exploitation?"
Detective Chief Investigator James Yallop, praised the bravery of the victims who came forward and assisted the complex investigation, and told the BBC:
“It's important that the public are able to report things that don't quite look right or don't quite feel right if they see suspicious activity...so that we can take actions swiftly and detect vulnerable victims.”