Housing standards & safety breaches lead to arrests
5 July 2021
Officers from Preston City Council, Lancashire Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue executed a warrant at a property on Corporation Street in Preston, uncovering multiple offences and safety breaches which led to arrests of the occupiers.
The initial intelligence in this case pointed towards an unsafe number of occupiers and housing standards below safe and legal requirements. However, during the inspection Police officers arrested a male occupier for human trafficking offences and a female occupier for immigration offences.
During the operation, a number of fire safety concerns were also identified in the premises. Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is conducting further investigations to address the fire safety concerns with those responsible for fire safety at the property.
Councillor Jennifer Mein, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing at Preston City Council, said:
"It's always rewarding to hear of the successful outcome of multi-agency partnership working as in this case, and my thanks go to all the teams involved. The information gathered and shared led to a range of actions which ultimately protects tenants from those landlords that fail to manage their properties to an acceptable standard.
"The valued contribution many landlords make to the community is welcomed and appreciated, but rest assured our officers will make use of all the powers available to them to ensure the standards for tenants in Preston is safe and to a recognised standard."
Sergeant John Lovick at Lancashire Police, added:
"This was an intelligence led, multi-agency operation which led to the subsequent arrests for human trafficking and immigration offences. Preston Police will continue to gather information and work proactively with our partners to ensure that individuals who are exploiting vulnerable persons are dealt with robustly. Intelligence continues to be gathered and I anticipate more such operations in the near future."
- The sharing of information and intelligence between multi-agency organisations happens regularly in Preston. In this case, Housing Standards, Health and Safety, and Corporate Compliance officers from the City Council along with Lancashire Police and Safety Inspectors at Lancashire Fire and Rescue attended 120 Corporation Street on Thursday 1 July to execute the warrant.