Stopping criminals using our roads for trafficking with Operation Squadron
On Wednesday 8th November, law enforcement officers from across the south east carried out an operation at Clacket Lane Services on the M25 to disrupt criminals who use the road network to traffic people, drugs and firearms.
Operation Squadron brought together officers from Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Metropolitan Police; Immigration Enforcement; Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs; and the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit. By working as one, each of the agencies has been able to contribute on actively clamping down on modern slavery and illegal importation in the UK.
A number of trafficking and immigration offences are known to have taken place at Clacket Lane Services in the past, as it is the first service station on the M25 for those travelling into the UK from Europe. The aim of the operation was to safeguard people who may have been a victim of trafficking, in addition to preventing the importation of illegal goods.
Victims of human trafficking can be exploited, being forced to work against their will for low or no wages and are mistreated or forced to live in poor conditions.
DI Nancy Greenslade-Jones of Surrey Police said
“As part of Operation Squadron, officers made two arrests for illegal entry into the UK and one HGV was seized due to the driver not holding a valid licence. A number of drivers were prosecuted for road traffic and excise duty offences and in excess of £3,000 in fines were recovered.”
DI Greenslade Jones added:
“Surrey Police continues to work in partnership to combat serious organised crime in the South East, particularly against those who traffic people for criminal gain. Anyone with concerns about individuals who may be involved are urged to call us on 101 (999 in an emergency). Alternatively, suspicions can be raised anonymously through independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Unseen’s Modern Slavery Hotline 08000 121 700.”