Police operation at the Town Hall: 12th – 14th April
At around lunchtime on Friday we were contact by Devon County Council’s emergency team asking whether the police could take over the town hall to provide a place of safety for 29 vulnerable adults. Many of you will be aware that a team of people traffickers were detained at Cullompton motorway services along with 29 Vietnamese people. The request was made to us because we are an emergency rescue centre for weather events that leave motorists stranded on Haldon. Consequently, we are experienced in responding to such requests for assistance and have a stock of emergency supplies on hand.
The Police, Border Force, Devon County Council and the British Red Cross were with us until around 6pm on the Sunday, giving them time to interview the Vietnamese and put in place the necessary safeguarding and accommodation arrangements. I have to say I was very impressed by the smooth, seamless operation that the various agencies involved delivered.
All of the agencies have asked that their thanks be passed on to the local community. Several residents came to the Town Hall to offer support, clothing, food and cash for the rescued Vietnamese. A collection was held after the “Carnaby Street” concert at the school which raised £166. This was donated to the Rapid Relief Team, a charity who were on hand to provide the catering over the weekend. This says much about the community in which we live.
A final thanks to the hirers whose bookings we had to cancel over the weekend at very little notice. Your understanding of the situation was much appreciated.