This week I joined Security Minister James Brokenshire MP for a very positive meeting to discuss the ongoing work to crackdown on illegal gang masters in the Fens.
During the meeting with the Home Office Minister and his senior officials we discussed the lessons from the recent multiagency operation by the National Crime Agency, Cambridgeshire Police and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to crackdown on illegal abuse linked to immigration in Cambridgeshire.
Following the success of last month’s Operation Endeavour which saw 300 officers launching dawn light raids on properties in Wisbech, March and King’s Lynn I highlighted the importance of further enforcement operations to address the continuing issues faced by constituents. I am keen to ensure this operation was not a high profile one off.
I discussed with the Security Minister the leadership role the recently created National Crime Agency could play in co-ordinating future enforcement operations.
As I wrote on my blog, the NCA are uniquely placed to deal with the cross- border issues linked to criminal activity not just in Fenland but also areas like Boston, Spalding, King’s Lynn, and Peterborough.
The international scope of the NCA would also enable them to tackle much of the misleading information put out by illegal gang masters to migrant workers in Eastern Europe before their arrival in the Fens, persuading them to travel to our area on false promises.
On a related topic, I also raised the current bid for specific funding to support Fenland District Council in tackling rogue landlords, which I also spoke again about today with Kris Hopkins MP, the Housing Minister. I am particularly keen that we benefit locally from this government funding given the significant impact overcrowded housing has on the surrounding community.
An update on the bid for government money to tackle rogue landlord operations is due in the next week or two and I will keep constituents informed on developments on this blog.