Breaking KENT Rochester

Three arrests were made, and nine warnings issued, during a multi-agency operation targeting stolen vehicles and the exploitation of workers in Rochester

Three arrests were made, and nine warnings issued, during a multi-agency operation targeting stolen vehicles and the exploitation of workers in Rochester.

The operation, which took place on 7 April 2021, focused on three metal businesses based in Medway City Estate and was supported by Medway Council, HMRC, the Environment Agency, Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the Home Office.

A number of workers, and two young children, were reported to have been found living in unsuitable conditions. Medway Council’s Housing Team subsequently issued nine Emergency Prohibition notices to the businesses. If the businesses do not comply with the notices they could face up to a £30,000 fine.

An illegal bar was also discovered which is in breach of the current Covid-19 regulations. The details have been passed onto the Kent Police Licensing team.

During the operation officers arrested a 55-year-old man from Strood on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and possession with intent to supply cocaine and cannabis.

A 50-year-old man from Strood was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cocaine.

On the same day a 63-year-old man from Rochester was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, and possessing an offensive weapon, following a vehicle stop in Rainham.

All three men have since been released pending further enquiries.

Sergeant Ross Haybourne, from Kent Police’s Medway Community Safety Unit, said: ‘This was a pre-planned operation which involved a number of key agencies and partners. Using our combined powers and expertise, we will always seek to take the most robust action against people suspected to be involved in such offending.’

A spokesman for Medway Council said: ‘Those involved in the exploitation of workers often undertake other organised criminal activities and we will continue to work hard to identify those involved and to put a stop to this type of offending’.

ENDS