Modern slavery is hidden in plain sight on our high streets. People are being forced to work long hours, for little or no pay, and under threat of violence in hand car washes.
Many hand car washes are legitimate businesses, but some of them are not. Police raids in hand car washes in towns and cities up and down the country have unearthed victims living in horrendous conditions.
Although law enforcement and the government are clear that this problem exists, there is no reliable data on just how widespread it is. This lack of information means that victims could be falling through the net.
The Cleaver Initiative, the police, the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority and others have talked about how we can work together to help solve this and bring these hidden victims into the light.
The Safe Car Wash app is a new tool, endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, that will enable the largest community intelligence gathering exercise ever attempted in the United Kingdom.
Download the free app onto your smartphone. When you are using a hand car wash, simply open the app and complete a short survey about the working conditions of the car wash.