Update: 19 arrested in illegal worker crackdown in High Road, Ilford

Police arrested people this morning in a pre-planned operation targeting illegal workers

Police arrested people this morning in a pre-planned operation targeting illegal workers - Credit: Archant

Police arrested 19 Illegal workers during a pre-planned crackdown this morning.

16 officers were involved in the operation

16 officers were involved in the operation - Credit: Archant

Immigration officers made the arrests in High Road, Ilford, outside the Karamsar Gurdwara, and on the nearby Francis Road.

Their focus was on people who wait in the street to be collected to work illegally in the country. They are commonly hired for a day’s casual labour, and are usually paid cash-in-hand, below the minimum wage.

Eighteen Indian men, aged 20-78, were arrested. Ten were found to have overstayed their visas, seven had entered the country illegally and one was found to be working in breach of his visa conditions.

An Indian teenage boy, who is a minor, was also arrested after he was found to be an overstayer. He is currently in the care of social services.

Paul Wylie, director of London and South Home Office Immigration Enforcement, said: “Today’s operation shows we will take the strongest possible action to combat illegal working pick-up points in Ilford.

“The tradesmen who use this type of illegal labour fuel the hidden economy, defraud the taxpayer, undercut genuine employers and deny legitimate job hunters work.

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“We would rather those arrested today left the UK voluntarily, and can offer assistance with this, but where they do not we will enforce their removal.”

Sixteen of the 17 men arrested will be transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the UK. The remaining two, including the teenager, are awaiting questioning.

The operation was carried out after police received information from the community.

Sgt Matt Taylor, of Redbridge Police, said: “We understand the concerns raised by the local community and have worked with the Home Office Immigration Enforcement Officers to address them this morning.”

Traffic officers also attended to look for irregularities with tradesmen’s vans.

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