Illegal workers are target of Ilford Lane enforcement action day

Ilford Lane action day - enforcement officers from all different departments such as street cleaning

Ilford Lane action day - enforcement officers from all different departments such as street cleaning, planning, trading standards etc, joining together for a blitz of Ilford Lane, an area known for issues such as prostitution. - Credit: Archant

Police, immigration and customs officers descended on Ilford Lane earlier today (Tuesday) grilling workers and shoppers in a joint crack down.

The operation was part of the third Redbridge Action Day, bringing enforcement officers from different areas together to do a surprise sweep of problem areas in the borough.

Around 20 council staff and customs officers in high-visibility jackets visited businesses along Ilford Lane, starting with Quality Food supermarket at around midday, grilling shoppers and workers about their immigration and visa statuses.

Neighbourhood police from Redbridge were there to support the operation, along with the immigration team.

The team then visited Taraq Halal Meat, further down Ilford Lane, to check details were in order.

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Mark Benbow, enforcement lead at the council, said: “This is probably even more involved than we’ve had in previous operations.

“This area needs businesses to flourish and they all need to be safe and compliant.

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“As you can imagine, business owners are concerned [when we visit their shops].

“If they are trading legally they have nothing to worry about.

“We offer a lot more support than we do enforcement – we are reasonable.”

“If you deal with the little things, the big things take care of themselves – these aren’t little, but it’s all areas of enforcement that improve the area.”

See Thursday’s Recorder for our full exclusive report from the action day.

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