Friday, 25 June 2010


The latest Operation Clean Sweep has targeted Cliftonville, with benefits checks, fire safety inspections and trading standards visits carried out.

This operation was led by Thanet District Council, with officers from licensing, planning enforcement, community safety, environmental health, waste and recycling taking part. They were joined by teams from Kent County Council Trading Standards, Kent Fire and Rescue Services, the UK Border Agency, Serious Organised Crime Agency, and volunteers from Pipeline.

The teams have spent the last two days (Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 June) visiting shops and businesses along Northdown Road. All the premises that were visited were given leaflets about employing foreign nationals by the Serious Organised Crime Agency. It was their first experience with Operation Clean Sweep and they described their role in it as giving them “a strong start to their programme in the area.”

Fire safety investigations found one defective fire alarm and further investigations required at some properties. Businesses were given advice about trade waste and off licences were checked for counterfeit goods. The council’s benefits team spoke to 22 people and they are now making further enquiries into changes of people’s circumstances. One alleyway was cleared of dumped rubbish by Thanet District Council and Pipeline.

The UK Border Agency visited 45 commercial and residential properties and spoke to a number of foreign nationals. Checks are now ongoing into a couple of the cases that they came across. Officers found that, due to the number of visits, as part of Operation Clean Sweep, most businesses appear to have tightened their procedures and are no longer employing immigration offenders.

Kent Trading Standards visited a number of shops, particularly focusing on those which sell second hand goods. There were issues with poor record keeping and some items, such as clothing, DVDs and jewellery, which were believed to be counterfeit, were seized.

Cllr. Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Once again, Operation Clean Sweep has been really well received by both business owners and local residents. Our officers had exceptionally positive feedback and it’s obvious that Clean Sweep is having an impact, as far less problems were identified during this operation than when we first started. It’s also excellent to see more organisations getting involved with Clean Sweep all the time and we were delighted to welcome the Serious Organised Crime Agency on to this operation.”

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