UK Police clamp down on illegal car washes

Following visits from the Responsible Car Wash Scheme (RCWS), a number of car washes in the United Kingdom have been identified as potentially breaking the law. Local police have warned a few car wash owners they need to improve or they will be closed down. Recent reports come from both Suffolk and Ipswich.

The RCWS said many illegal car washes operate from unsuitable premises that discharge dangerous effluent into water courses. Furthermore, staff are given no or ineffective protective equipment when handling dangerous and corrosive cleaning materials.
Suffolk police is currently working with the RCWS to clamp down on illegal car washes. Those who do not follow environmental and employment laws need to improve or they will be closed down, the authorities warned.

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The RCWS was formed in 2018 to raise standards and promote compliance across the country. According to the not-for-profit accreditation scheme the car wash sector has consistently been identified as an industry where workers are at risk of exploitation.

Employees of illegal car washes are often domiciled in appalling conditions, where they are trapped in a horrendous way of life. No work immediately means no place to stay or sleep. “It is so important for customers to only use the service provided by companies that trade legally to stop this exploitation of vulnerable workers”, explains Tim Passmore from Suffolk police.

“We ask car owners and drivers to choose responsible car washes that offer a fair wash. That means ones that look after their workers, protect the environment, care for their customers and trade legally.”accordingly.”

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Author: Rene Passet

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