A TEAM who worked on a complex investigation which involved investigating allegations of modern day slavery and human trafficking have been commended by the Chief Constable.
The team worked with partner agencies abroad to secure the first convictions of its kind in the country.
Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop, Detective Inspector Simon Gray, Detective Sergeant David Hetherington, Detective Sergeant Deborah Story, Disclosure Officer Don McCutcheon and Intelligence Analyst Claire McKenna were all commended in recognition of their dedication and professionalism in investigating allegations of modern day slavery and human trafficking offending, carried out by an organised crime group.
The investigation centred on the exploitation of vulnerable victims who have been brought to the UK and forced through compulsory labour to work at a car wash in Carlisle.
Working and co-operating with agencies across the UK and abroad, the investigative team were able to use a wide range of police tactics to build up evidence showing the full extent of offending.
The investigation secured the first conviction of its kind in the country and resulted in the two defendants receiving a total of seven years in prison.
Detective Superintendent Dan St Quintin said: "In the face of international barriers and a retrial, the investigation was extremely challenging. However, the unwavering professionalism and commitment from this small team of investigators was a credit to themselves and the Constabulary. This resulted in jail sentences for the main offenders.
"Those working on this investigation went above and beyond on behalf of the victims in this case and the result was upheld nationally as a landmark case. The team showed other forces how to deal with international and complex modern slavery cases successfully."