Service station near Milton Keynes the hub of major police investigation into human trafficking

Police in Milton Keynes' region have collaborated with other police groups to combat illegal immigration.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 2:06 pm

Across Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Hampshire and Buckinghamshire 290 lorries have been stopped and checked as part of this week of action.

Three HGVs were seized and removed from the road network and 15 drivers were issued fines for road traffic offences.

Police also collected £1,400 in previously issued fines from companies who had clandestine entrants hidden within their HGVs.

Thames Valley Police contributed to a major human trafficking operation that included searching Milton Keynes lorries

Of these searches 60 took place in Newport Pagnell which resulted in six separate fines being issued.

The investigation was a joint effort between Bedfordshire Police, Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary.

In Bedfordshire, police received a number of reports of people entering the country illegally in lorries and dispersing at Toddington Services, which helped shape the operation.

Sergeant Andre Tringham, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “We know that Toddington Services is being used by human traffickers for clandestine entry and we will not tolerate these horrific crimes in our county.

“We work closely with various organisations and other forces, and we will continue to run proactive operations to target those responsible, as well as to potentially protect and safeguard vulnerable people at risk of exploitation.

“As well as enforcement, these operations are a great opportunity to talk to people who work or frequently use these services and make them aware of these issues, and educate people on the importance of reporting.”