Work on improving the quality of life for Migrant Workers

Letters are going out to all Eastern Region business owners about unlicensed gang masters and labour providers.  The Letter to Business owners is available to download here and the content is replicated below.

Unlicensed Gang Masters & Labour Providers

Police within the Eastern Region, together with the Gang Licensing Authority and Immigration Enforcement are working closely to improve the quality of life for migrant workers and to prevent the exploitation and trafficking of human beings

Human trafficking is defined as the movement of a person from one place to another (including internally within the United Kingdom) into conditions of exploitation using deception, coercion, force, the abuse of power or the abuse of someone’s vulnerability.

  • ‘Movement’ of people can include the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person. The victim can be controlled by a number of means including threats, force, coercion, deception or the abuse of power/ vulnerability.
  • ‘Exploitation’ may include prostitution, forced labour (including criminal activity like shoplifting or cultivating cannabis), slavery or low-wage work or the removal of organs – the list overleaf provides further examples.

We have recently received reports from local businesses within the region that calls and emails are being received from persons purporting to be legitimate labour providers, offering the supply of cheap labour.

When employing any labour, we would urge you to consider both the moral and potential criminal implications of employing persons from un-reputable or unlicensed labour providers.

You will be aware that under the Gangmasters Licensing Act (2004) it is illegal either to operate as, or employ the services of, an unlicensed Gangmaster.

Your local Police service, the GLA and UKBA will continue to conduct proactive operations around these issues and respond to any intelligence received.  All agencies are also available for advice and support.  You can report any concerns around human trafficking, exploitation or unlicensed Gangmaster activity to the Police on 101 or directly to the GLA on 0800 432 0804 or via email to

Actual examples of exploitation

Persons reporting any of the following:

That they have paid a vast amount of money to come to the UK on the false promise that they would be given accommodation and regular employment.

Living in overcrowded houses where there is mould on the walls, no smoke alarms, no heating and dangerous electrical plug sockets etc.

Have not been given a Tenancy agreement, a rent book or a receipt for the money paid to the rent collector.

Have not been given a wage slip for the work they have done. If a wage slip is given, it does not give details of the amount of hours worked.

Have sometimes had money taken from their wages (described as “fines”) that are unfair / were for things that did not happen.

That they are using a Temporary National Insurance Number rather than one given to them by the Job Centre.

Have not been given all of their worker’s rights such as Holiday Pay.

Have been asked to give their identification documents such as Passports / ID Cards over which have not been returned .

Have been taken to work in vans / cars that are not safe or have been driven by people that are drunk.

Have not been given any work and then forced out of their accommodation.

Just to re-emphasise, you can report any concerns around human trafficking, exploitation or unlicensed Gangmaster activity to the Police on 101 or directly to the GLA on 0800 432 0804 or via email to

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