A TOTAL of 11 people have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences as part of an operation covering Maldon and Chelmsford.

The operation consisted of months of work by Essex Police’s serious organised crime unit, in partnership with Chelmsford City Council and Maldon District Council community safety partnerships.

It followed intelligence that particular sites in Chelmsford and Maldon were being used for criminal activity, including immigration crime.

Visits were planned at seven premises and 11 people were arrested on suspicion of remaining in the UK beyond their time limit.

The arrests took place in locations including car washes, garages and a restaurant.

They involved the Chelmsford community policing team, Maldon town team, intelligence officers, dog unit, modern slavery human trafficking team, CID and operational support group.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Culmination - The operation consisted of months of workCulmination - The operation consisted of months of work (Image: Newsquest)Officers also worked with Home Office Immigration and Border Force.

Two of those arrested have since been released on bail and others have been passed to immigration.

Det Supt Ian Dyball said “We have continued to work closely with our partners, to build a picture around potential offences at these locations.

“The information we collate is a combination of work from our intelligence teams and reports around suspicious activity that we received from the public. 

“Without these reports, we wouldn’t be able to act in order to keep vulnerable people safe and tackle serious organised crime.

“Enquiries surrounding yesterday’s arrests remain ongoing.”