Four bailed in West Sussex Polish migrant workers enquiry
4th November 2011
The following press statement has been released by Sussex Police.
“Four men arrested on Wednesday 2 November by Sussex detectives, accompanied by investigators from the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), investigating allegations of controlling and gaining illegal benefit from the work of migrant workers employed in farms and nurseries in West Sussex, were released on police bail that evening until 17 February 2012 whilst enquiries continue.
GLA investigators are looking into allegations of unlicensed supply of workers to the agricultural sector.
The four men, a 40-year old arrested at a private address in Portsmouth, a 31-year old at a private address in Tangmere, 43-year old at a private address in Bognor Regis and 44- year old Hayling Island man at an office address in Havant, had been detained on on suspicion of fraud and the unlicensed supply of staff.
An office in Portsmouth and one in Havant were also entered on the authority of a PACE warrant later the same morning.
Addresses have been searched and quantities of documents and computer-related material have been seized. Officers and GLA staff also visited six West Sussex nurseries, two in Ferring, one in Chidham, one in Walberton, one in Angmering and one in Funtington, to talk to managers and workers and seek further information about their experiences.
No arrests have been made at those locations”.
Notes to editors
2. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) was set up to curb the exploitation of workers in the agricultural, horticultural, shellfish gathering and associated processing and packing industries.
3. Protecting workers is the key aim alongside protecting legitimate labour providers and protecting the tax payer by uncovering unpaid taxes.
4. The GLA regulate the supply of workers and labour services to any of the regulated sectors in the UK.
5. It is a criminal offence to provide labour in the industries regulated by the GLA without a licence. It is also an offence to use labour provided by unlicensed labour providers.
6. The GLA assess compliance against its Licensing Standards which reflects UK legislation, including Forced Labour Offence.
7. In December 2009 a new offence of forced labour was introduced in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland. It became an offence in Scotland in August 2010
8. The GLA issues additional guidance in its GLA Brief series, where it identifies new concerns over non-compliance, in particular forced labour http://gla.defra.gov.uk/embedded_object.asp?id=1013753
9. Margaret McKinlay, Chair of the GLA is available for interview.
Public enquiries: 0845 602 5020
Media enquiries: 0845 602 5020