Many hand car washes are legitimate businesses, but some of them are not. Police raids in hand car washes in towns and cities up and down the country have unearthed victims living in horrendous conditions.
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The Safe Car Wash app is designed to be used by someone going to get their car washed. At the hand car wash they can open the app, logging the location of the hand car wash. They will then be taken through a series of indicators of modern slavery; for example are the workers wearing protective clothing, and are there signs that they are living on site? When they finish the questions, the answers are sent to a database which can be accessed by law enforcement investigating modern slavery.
The results from June to December 2018 have been collated and analysed by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab. Their analysis has shown us that in nearly half of reports, or 48%, workers did not have access to suitable protective clothing such as gloves or boots, despite many hand car washes typically requiring their workers to use potentially harmful chemicals such as hydrochloric acid.