Safe Car Wash App

People are being forced to work long hours, for little or no pay, and under threat of violence in hand car washes.

Many hand car washes are legitimate businesses, but some are exploiting their workers. The groundbreaking Safe Car Wash App addresses this problem.

Modern slavery is happening in hand car washes in towns and cities up and down the country.

There are thousands of hand car washes across the UK. You probably pass one every day. While many of these are legitimate businesses, reports suggest that many more are run by unscrupulous people, determined to exploit their workers to make as much money as possible. In these instances, workers may be victims of modern slavery.

By using the Safe Car Wash App, you can identify cases of exploitation and help end modern slavery at hand car washes.

What does the Safe Car Wash App do?

The Safe Car Wash App enables anyone who uses hand car washes to identify and report slavery. The app asks a series of questions related to the indicators of modern slavery and then assesses the answers. If there is a high likelihood that modern slavery is occurring at the hand car wash, users are invited to send a report to the Modern Slavery Helpline at the touch of a button. All reports submitted through the app are also sent to a back-end data website, where they are made available to police officers and data analysts.

By visiting a hand car wash and submitting a report, you can help law enforcement end modern slavery and exploitation at hand car washes. A single report could save lives.

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Improvements to the App

Since the launch of the Safe Car Wash App in June 2018, it has been downloaded 40,000 times. We have now received almost 9,000 reports, with many reports being referred to Modern Slavery Helpline and law enforcement every month. This intelligence has been crucial in building a clear picture of the hand car wash sector around the country, and has enabled law enforcement agencies to follow-up on numerous businesses that may be exploiting their workers.

Following feedback from our users, we’ve made the following improvements to the app:

  • There is no longer a requirement to submit any personal information before filing a report
  • Users now have the ability to send a report straight to Modern Slavery Helpline at a click of a button, if the report scores above the threshold of concern for modern slavery and exploitation
  • All new location functions, meaning you can pinpoint the exact location of the car wash on a map and confirm the precise street address and postcode.
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Why get involved?

We need you to help make sure hand car washes in the UK are safe for everyone.

By each of us doing a small thing, we can help make a massive difference. Victims of modern slavery are real people - just like every one of us, but they are trapped in exploitation, living under threat of violence and have nowhere to turn.

Tell others about the Safe Car Wash App

By encouraging others to download the Safe Car Wash App, you are helping end slavery and exploitation at hand car washes.

We’ve put together a toolkit of promotional assets that you can use to spread the word about the Safe Car Wash App.

"This citizen engagement in data collection is a powerful technique with potential for mapping other vulnerable services."

Zoe Trodd, Rights Lab.

The data

The data from all reports through the app is collected and mapped against car washes throughout the country. The data collected is anonymised and shared with the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority, two law enforcement agencies who are leading on efforts to stamp out modern slavery across the UK.

How effective is the app?

Since launching the Safe Car Wash app in June 2018, it has been downloaded over 40,000 times and we have received more than 9,000 reports. Reports from our law enforcement partners suggest that the data is being used to inform enforcement operations on a regular basis.

"The Safe Car Wash app is a great way of utilising the technology available."

Roger Bannister, Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

Download resources such as posters and leaflets to raise awareness.

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