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Project addressing potential modern slavery in hand car washes wins a Trading Standards Hero Award

Posted 29/11/22

A scheme to address potential modern slavery in hand car washes has led to Slough Borough Council’s Trading Standards team receiving a Diversity and Inclusion Award at Chartered Trading Standards Institute’s (CTSI) annual Hero Awards ceremony. 
The awards, hosted by CTSI at the House of Lords on the evening of Wednesday 23 November, recognised significant contributions to consumer protection across the UK.
Partnership working between various agencies and organisations is at the heart of the initiative, which began in 2019 with Operation Flint - engaging with hand car washes and providing education about what it means to be a responsible business (along with the possible consequences if they aren’t). The team supported initial visits to sites and spoke at a post-visit event for car wash owners.
In May 2021, following COVID-19 lockdown, the Trading Standards team supported a pilot scheme in Slough looking at how an accreditation scheme could be introduced for car washes, with a view to future mandatory licensing. This included another round of site visits as well as recording a podcast series of good practice advice for car wash owners about how to operate in a regulatory-compliant way.
And in 2022 the Trading Standards team also supported Thames Valley Police by visiting car wash sites to focus on identifying poor practice and potential modern slavery.
Russell Denney-Clarke, Trading Standards and Licensing Manager, said: “Slough Borough Council trading standards team have supported their community safety and police colleagues in addressing potential modern slavery in hand car washes over a prolonged period of time.  
“They have undertaken site visits and engagement work, as well as recording a podcast for site operators on how to run a compliant business.  The team have consistently and enthusiastically supported this work and have added significant value to the efforts from the police and the Responsible Car Wash Scheme to protect some of the most vulnerable in our society from an often-hidden form of abuse.  This award rightly gives them the recognition they so well deserve, and we could not be more proud of them.”
CTSI Chief Executive John Herriman said: “British merchants were a significant force behind the Atlantic slave trade between the 16th and 19th centuries but it wasn’t until the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 that the institution of slavery was abolished completely. Despite being illegal, it is perceived that modern slavery still exists in Britain, as elsewhere, often following human trafficking from poorer countries.
“Hand car washes have become increasingly popular in the UK in the last decade and this partnership working by Slough Trading Standards addresses potential modern slavery within the hand car wash industry.
“The CTSI Hero Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate remarkable individuals or groups of people who make outstanding contributions towards safeguarding consumers in our communities. Every year, we are inspired by the stories of nominees throughout the country whose bravery, altruism and hard work often goes unnoticed. These awards honour those remarkable people who have gone the extra mile for consumers.”
Pictured from left to right: Tendy Lindsay, Chair of CTSI and Slough Trading Standards Team.
Responsible Car Wash Scheme
To find out more about the Responsible Car Wash Scheme then please visit their website:  https://rcws.org.uk/ 
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) 
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is a national not for profit established in 1881 which supports the UK’s trading standards profession and works to protect consumers and safeguard honest businesses.  CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services at local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk
Please contact CTSI Press Office: pressoffice@tsi.org.uk for any queries. 
Friends Against Scams
Friends Against Scams is a National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.

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