Officers investigating an affray at a football match in Wixams on Saturday are appealing for witnesses. Image: iStock

A crackdown on immigration crime and human trafficking saw 34 lorries stopped at Toddington service station on the M1.

As part of an ongoing operation in Bedfordshire to tackle clandestine entry, on Monday (19 July 2021) 14 lorries were searched, and a further 20 lorries were provided with safety information.

Officers from community, response, missing and roads policing were joined by partners from Central Bedfordshire Council and Immigration Enforcement.

As well as boots on the ground, a drone was used to check the tops of lorries, as well as to monitor the wider area.

The operation was led by Sergeant Andre Tringham, of Bedfordshire Police’s Modern Slavery and Organised Immigration Crime Unit. He said:

“We are aware that Toddington Services are being used by human traffickers for clandestine entry, so we will continue to run these operations.

“Our main aim is to help protect and safeguard vulnerable people, as well as identify those pulling the strings in human trafficking and exploitation.

“There are also a number of signs members of the public can look out for, and if you see anything suspicious, no matter how small, it is important to report it. Tackling modern slavery is everyone’s business.”

Anyone with concerns that someone may be a victim of trafficking, or has information about trafficking, should report it to Bedfordshire Police on 101 or confidentially to the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700.

In an emergency, always call 999.

For more information about the work going on to tackle organised immigration crime please visit Crimestoppers.

You can find out more about what lots of different agencies are doing to tackle organised crime, serious violence and exploitation by visiting bavex.co.uk.