THE actions of two car wash bosses who were jailed for more than three years each for modern slavery crimes have been condemned as 'cold and calculated' and 'driven by greed' by a detective chief inspector.

DCI James Yallop described the crimes of Defrim Paci and Sitar Ali as 'callous' and said Cumbria Constabulary had shown such actions 'will not be tolerated' in the county.

Paci and Ali were found guilty of exploiting four Romanian men who worked for them at Shiny car wash in Carlisle's Warwick Road.

The employees were forced to work long hours for less than minimum wage and were housed in filthy accommodation.

DCI Yallop said that, despite the ordeal, the victims had been able to move on and were now living outside the county.

"This has had a long-lasting and devastating impact on their lives but they have been able to relocate and start slowly to build a new life, and hopefully they will be able to continue to do that," he said.

"They were presented with a set of circumstances [by Paci and Ali] that ultimately weren't true, and what they were told was not what they found to be the reality.

"They didn't understand employment law, they didn't speak English, they had little or no money, which allowed them to be exploited."

DCI Yallop encouraged members of the public to be on the lookout for signs of modern slavery offences being committed.

"Modern slavery is really about the exploitation of vulnerable victims," he said.

"You might see someone looking nervous or anxious, withdrawn, perhaps unkempt."

He said victims might be out and about at unusual hours of the day and stressed that if 'something doesn't feel right or doesn't quite look right' it was important to report it.

"We are a remote county and we need to remain vigilant and it's really important that the public are able to spot the signs so they can help us in uncovering a crime that can often go unreported," he said.

He finished by paying tribute to investigating officers for their 'determination' in 'securing a conviction and justice'.