October 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, September 5, 2014
Ten immigrants have been found in a lorry in Suffolk today after crossing the Channel.
The Home Office has confirmed the lorry, stopped by police in Iceni Way in Haverhill this morning, had travelled from Calais to Dover. The news comes amid increasing pressure to tackle the surge of immigrants arriving at the French port seeking to reach British shores.
Following the discovery of the immigrants in Haverhill, police arrested the lorry driver, a 47-year-old man from Poland, on suspicion of an Immigration Act Offence (facilitating illegal entry to the UK).
It is understood officers pulled over the lorry shortly after 9am as part of a spot check and found the immigrants after hearing noises coming from the back of the lorry.
All 10 stowaways were male. Three were from Iraq, two were from Afghanistan, three were from Iran, and two were from Kuwait, a Home Office spokesman confirmed.
He said of the three Iranians, one was a teenager who was travelling with his father. They will both be taken into family accommodation.
The two Afghans were both teenagers. They will be taken into social services care.
The remaining six suspected immigration offenders will be taken into an immigration detention centre while their cases are considered.
The Home Office spokesman also confirmed the lorry had travelled from Calais to Dover. It is not known when.
It follows growing concern at the rising number of migrants flocking to Calais which has long been used as a staging post to try to reach British shores.
But recent months have seen a big increase in their numbers and clashes have erupted between rival African migrants.
The disorder and large influx, mainly from African countries including Sudan and Eritrea, have led the mayor and deputy mayor of Calais to make direct appeals for UK help.
The issue was further highlighted this week after dozens of migrants tried to storm a ferry bound for Britain. Riot police were deployed after up to 100 people breached security and tried to run up the ramp of the cross-Channel ferry.
The migrants were foiled from getting on board the MyFerryLink-operated Berlioz vessel when the crew raised the ramp and turned a fire hose on them.
In a statement, a spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “A lorry was stopped by Suffolk police on Iceni Way in Haverhill shortly after 9am on Friday, September 5, with officers then finding a number of immigrants inside.
“They were detained and taken to a police investigation centre in Suffolk where they will be dealt with by border force officials.
“The lorry driver, a 47-year-old man from Poland, has been arrested on suspicion of an Immigration Act Offence (facilitating illegal entry to the UK) and is currently being processed at the Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre.”
Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said action will be taken to remove people found to have no right to remain in the UK.
He said: “The security of the UK border is our first priority. That is why the Government has already taken action and invested several million pounds in strengthening security and upgrading technology at Calais, and is working with the French authorities to help enhance port infrastructure further.
“We also continue to work with the French and other international partners to target the organised crime gangs behind smuggling and people trafficking, increasing joint intelligence work and co-ordination between law enforcement agencies.
“Action between the UK and France – together with police in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands – has seen 20 organised gangs broken up and assets worth £1.4 million (1.8 million Euros) seized.”