Immigration Checks Prompt Mass Exodus of Traffic Wardens

Council claims contractors are responsible for recruiting and vetting staff

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A council contractor responsible for parking enforcement across Ealing Borough has come under the spotlight this week for apparently employing illegal immigrants.

Apcoa, who supply ‘civil enforcement officers’ to a number of local authorities including Ealing, lost their contract with Lambeth council in August. When the new contractor, NCP Services Ltd, took over and began examining backgrounds of 150 staff who transferred to the new company, 48 resigned immediately or just didn't turn up for work.

"We can't say for definite they didn't have the right to work in this country but we did see some passports and documents we were concerned about,” a spokesperson for NCP told the BBC. "We certainly did feel there was an issue there.

Businesses can be fined £10,000 for breaking the law by recruiting those without the correct visas or valid passports.

A spokesperson for Ealing Council said, "Our contractors are responsible for recruiting and vetting the staff they employ. We expect all the companies we work with to ensure they comply fully with all laws relating to their business, including immigration rules.

"We have had a meeting with APCOA today where they have assured us they have performed all necessary immigration checks on all parking attendants working in Ealing."

September 26, 2008