17 July 2013
The British Red Cross was called in by Derbyshire Police to provide assistance at a rest centre, following a human trafficking operation in Derby.
Seven people have been arrested and 11 potential victims, who police believe have been trafficked into the UK from Eastern Europe, were found at houses raided by the police on Monday 15 July.
The 11 men were taken to a special reception centre to be cared for by Red Cross volunteers alongside Derbyshire County Council, Derby City Council and the Salvation Army.
Barbara-Anne Walker, Red Cross operations director for Derbyshire, said: “British Red Cross volunteers are trained to provide practical and emotional support to people in a crisis. We are responding to the individuals’ welfare and giving them the practical help they need, such as providing clothing, hygiene items, emotional support, and recreational activities.
“We are also providing first aid cover and assisting with registration and refreshments. We are providing a 24/7 presence for the duration of the rest centre.”
Volunteers assisted in eight-hour shifts at the rest centre, with 15 volunteers helping each day.
Officers suspect that some victims’ details may have been used to claim benefits fraudulently and that some of the victims may have been sent to work at different locations in the city.