Home Office enforcement officers arrest care workers on suspicion of immigration offences

The Home Office has arrested six people – including four believed to be working in care – on suspicion of immigration offences.

The men and women, aged between 30 and 55, were detained during pre-dawn operations at properties in Alma Road, Southampton, on Wednesday.

None of the suspects had permission to work in the UK, according to the Home Office.

Three have since been detained pending removal from the UK, while one agreed to leave the UK under the Voluntary Return Service (VRS).

One person was arrested by immigration enforcement officers for document offences while another was detained but later released on bail.

The visit took place under Operation Brycem, a Home Office-led investigation targeting illegal working in the care sector.

The six people arrested were of Botswanan and Zimbabwean origin, according to the department.

South Central Immigration Enforcement assistant director Matt Wilkinson said: “These arrests have prevented those without employment rights in the UK from working with vulnerable people, and ensured that people abusing our immigration laws are brought to justice.

“The success of this operation shows that we will stop at nothing to protect the vulnerable within our communities and take firm action against those who are profiting from exploitation.”

Medical professionals can apply for a health and care worker visa to allow them to work in the UK legally with the NHS, an NHS supplier or in adult social care.

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