Police

Two Fenland-based Gangmaster agencies who were failing to protect migrant workers have been shut down and had their licenses permanently revoked by the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority.
One of the firms, Slender Contracting Ltd, was first raided in October last year as part of Operation Endeavour which saw 300 officers from a multi-agency task force crackdown on the exploitation of migrant workers.
Gangmasters and recruitment agencies that mislead workers to attract them to the Fens on false pretences is an issue I have repeatedly raised in Parliament, and at a series of meetings with the Home Secretary. Once here migrants often find the work is far less than promised and insufficient to avoid debt, and the housing is overcrowded and squalid.
Gangmasters who operate irresponsibly and the rogue landlords who house workers in overcrowded properties have a major knock-on effect on our local community, in particular through street drinking and anti social behaviour.
This action to close these two firms is further evidence to residents that we are listening to their concerns, and the authorities are acting.
More remains to be done to ensure that gangmasters and rogue landlords are operating legally. Specifically the £179,000 government grant at Christmas will help with further enforcement action in Fenland, and the Anti Modern Slavery legislation in Parliament will further increase the powers available to tackle abuse.
I will continue to update on this issue as we have further developments. I hope Fenland District Council will also shortly set out publicly how they will use the government money allocated to them on 27th December to tackle rogue landlords.

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