Department for Work & Pensions

Three men arrested over modern slavery offences

Three men have been arrested in connection with suspected modern slavery offences.

Suffolk Police were joined by other UK enforcement agencies and police officers from Romania as they raided an address in the west of Ipswich earlier this month.

The three men, aged 29, 26 and 20, were questioned on suspicion of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour offences.

Slavery image
BBC

Paperwork, payment cards and other items were recovered and a number of potential victims located, police said.

The Gangmaster and Labour Abuse Authority's senior investigating officer Jenni Baines said: "We know that the current pandemic also has the potential to create the conditions in which more people are exploited for their labour."

The three men have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.

Coronavirus shuts work and pensions office

BBC Newcastle

A building run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in Sunderland has been closed because of coronavirus.

Four staff based at Wear View House in the city centre have tested positive, although their condition isn't known.

The DWP confirmed it ordered the building to be closed two days ago and said it would reopen on Monday once a deep clean has taken place.

Staff have been told to stay at home and self-isolate for seven days.

The site deals with personal independence payments - or PIPs - and child maintenance. The work will now be absorbed elsewhere.

Benefit claimant was seen walking dogs, court told

A Cumbrian woman who claimed she could only walk 30m (90ft) at a time and claimed disability benefits has admitted fraud after being caught on camera walking long distances with two dogs.

Angela Greg, 50, of Milton Street, Penrith, had been investigated by the Department for Work and Pensions to check her claims for Personal Independence Payments, and they found she had failed to report that her condition had improved.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Gregg told DWP staff she had “good days and bad days”, and that “she was able to do certain things by gritting her teeth and getting on with it”.

Gregg admitted fraud by dishonestly failing to disclose information in relation to her PIP claims, and was sentenced to a 12-month community order and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Afterwardsa DWP spokesman said Gregg must also repay the £2,525 that she was overpaid.