Diocese of Manchester

    Car Wash App detects possible modern slavery

    Drivers using the Safe Car Wash App to gather information on modern slavery in hand car washes made more than 900 reports of potential cases in five months.

    The Safe Car Wash App, which allows drivers to respond to a check list of key factors that may suggest modern slavery or labour exploitation in hand car washes, has been downloaded 8,225 times since its launch by the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales last year.

    Between June and December 2018 there were 2271 completed entries using the app, with 41 per cent, or 930 reports, where after responding to a number of questions, users were told there was a likelihood of modern slavery at the hand car wash. They were then asked to call the Modern Slavery Helpline and their anonymised findings were shared in real time with police and the Gangmasters’ and Labour Abuse Authority.

    Bishop Alastair Redfern, Chair of The Clewer Initiative, said: “This research from the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab shows that the Safe Car Wash app has made an excellent start towards mapping the extent of modern slavery and labour exploitation in hand car washes, and, crucially raising public awareness of this issue.

    “Sadly, the findings so far confirm what we already feared - that many car washes do not protect their workers.

    “Our conversations with colleagues from law enforcement suggest that the data from the Safe Car Wash app is providing another piece in the puzzle of how to combat this complex crime. We hope to continue to build on this progress.”

The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
Church House,
90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

Manchester DBF Company number 149999, Charity number 249424
Telephone: 0161 828 1400