The Dark Side Of Your Local Hand Car Wash

The Dark Side Of Your Local Hand Car Wash

The Dark Side Of Your Local Hand Car Wash

The local hand car wash is a relatively new phenomenon. Despite this, nearly every town now has them and they’ve become a regular sight at the roadside. But these inexpensive alternatives to fuel stations may have a dark side…

The Rise of the Hand Car Wash 

There’s all sorts of reasons why you might opt to use a hand car wash. First of all, they’re typically exceptionally cheap. Secondly, you can often get a superior clean to the automatic car washes found at fuel stations. Up to half a dozen attendants will render your car immaculate in next to no time at all. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, a significant amount of them are actually at the heart of a modern slavery pandemic.

The Safe Car Wash App

A new app called ‘Safe Car Wash’ has already received 1,000 cases of modern slavery; five months of being released. Launched by the Church of England’s anti-slavery arm, the Clewer Initiative, and the Catholic Church, the app allows concerned service-users to report suspected cases of modern slavery. It aims to highlight signs of the phenomenon, which can include subdued workers, a lack of proper equipment and evidence of staff living on-site.

According to the Home Office, there are some 10,000 cases of modern slavery in the UK. Modern slavery often  involves vulnerable persons being made to work in inhumane conditions and often for a pitiful return. Perpetrators often target people with mental health issues, family problems or immigration troubles. Between June and December of last year, 2,271 suspected cases were reported. 48% expressed concerns over a lack of protective gear, 80% said the hand car wash had a cash-only policy and 17% said workers looked ‘fearful.’

Targeting The Vulnerable 

The head of the Clewer Initiative, Bishop Alistair Redfern, summarised the situation. He said, “they recruit people who’ve got mental health issues, broken relationships, come from another culture where they don’t trust the police, they may have immigration issues. The only signs are if we notice how somebody looks, their demeanour and then we can begin to push back.” He added, “the police can’t do that, the local authority can’t and health and safety can’t. The public can.”

So next time you take a trip to your local hand car wash, it might be worth looking for any suspicious signs. With the Safe Car Wash app, drivers now have an easy means of reporting anything that might cause concern. Whilst we all enjoy a good deal, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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