People who rent out holiday cottages in the U.K.’s famous Peak District should beware that short-term lets are being used by unscrupulous sex traffickers as “pop-up brothels,” the Bishop of Derby has warned.

The Rt. Rev. Alastair Redfern said vulnerable young women, many of them from Eastern Europe, are being trafficked to the area as sex workers. Redfern who has been working in the House of Lords to close loopholes in the law that makes this possible says traffickers rent holiday homes for a month to use them as brothels before moving to another area.

“Derby is a place where eastern European women have come over in search for a better life, but they have been forced into working in a brothel and they have their life taken from them,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“In the Peak District there are lots of holiday homes used as pop-up brothels. The organized criminals bring the vulnerable women in and then use a cottage for business. They stay for four weeks and make a lot of money.

“All they are paying is the rent. But they are in secluded areas and, before anyone realizes what is going on or becomes suspicious about anything, then they are off to a new place and they take the women with them.”

Redfern said the 55-square-mile Peak District, which covers parts of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Cheshire, is a favored venue for traffickers. There are many isolated areas villages and farms and it can be inexpensive to rent holiday cottages.

Women from Eastern Europe are being lured to the area with false promises of work in bars and restaurants and then forced into prostitution. “This is a serious criminal business. They are placed and forced to work in brothels because the work they were promised does not exist, they have very limited grasp of the language and have no money,” the bishop said.

An all-party group of Parliamentarians MPs reports this is a problem in many seaside towns, as well as isolated rural villages.

John Martin

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