Crowdsourcing the first ever mapping of the UK hand car wash industry


69 potential slavery victims identified in first thirty days since app launch


60% increase in calls to the Modern Slavery Helpline contributed by app


900 reports of potential modern slavery abuses in first ten months

A solution for crowdsourced intelligence gathering and mapping of the hand car wash industry.


Both the UK government and law enforcement are clear that the problem of modern slavery in hand car washes exists but with no reliable data it is difficult to determine just how widespread the problem is. This lack of information means that victims are most likely missed, allowing the exploitation to continue to thrive. The task was to find a solution to raise awareness of the issue and gather intelligence that would help identify victims.

The Outcome

After an analysis of the problem, user behaviour and the required data needs, we identified an app based solution that would enable crowdsourced intelligence gathering.

We created the concept for a Safe Car Wash app, developing the UX strategy for the app and its corresponding campaign. In developing the architecture, taxonomy and UX design, we created a journey for the users that would achieve multiple goals.

The app acts as a route to reporting modern slavery concerns, enabling users to develop an awareness of the signs of modern slavery in hand car washes simply by using the app. Users are asked a series of questions relating to the indicators of modern slavery and the app determines whether there is a high likelihood that modern slavery is occurring in the hand car wash, prompting users to report their concerns to the Modern Slavery Helpline.

The data collected is then shared with the National Crime Agency and the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority, enabling them to map the hand car wash industry and gather vital intelligence to help with their investigations.

The app is the largest community intelligence gathering exercise ever attempted in the UK. Its impact on identifying victims of modern slavery in the hand car wash industry has been groundbreaking with 69 victims identified in the first 3 months.



Business analysis
UX Research
UX strategy
Information architecture
UX design