Dramatic rise in immigrant detentions in English port

Figures show large increase in number of illegal immigrants detained or arrested in England’s south east town of Dover

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Newly obtained figures have revealed a dramatic rise in the number of illegal immigrants detained by police officer in the Port town of Dover in the southeast of England.

Around 563 people have been detained, an increase from 148 in 2013, according to figures BBC Radio Kent has obtained under a Freedom of Information request - an act which allows the public to access information held by public authorities.

The information also outlined that in 2012 the total number of illegal immigrants detained or arrested was 105, while this year alone between January and April the number stood at 46.

The figures emerged following a weekend where dozens of migrants disrupted cross-channel services connecting Britain and France, entering restricted areas of a tunnel in Calais in an effort to cross into the United Kingdom.

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett spoke to BBC Radio Kent saying that migrants are taking great measures to cross the channel and also added that  “They think it’s a great place to be and [Britain’s] their target. They will do anything they possibly can to get into the UK.”

Although French police have increased patrols in and around Calais to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel, hundreds still take every opportunity to make the illegal crossing.

In June a video recorded by tourists travelling on a bus in Calais showed migrants trying to climb into UK-bound trucks in order to cross the channel.

Following the incident British truck drivers and tourists were warned to be cautious and avoid stops near the port as hundreds of migrants tried to pile into UK-bound trucks and cars.

Calais has long attracted migrants who have escaped from wars as well as poverty and there is an estimate of around 3,000 refugees from Somalia, Eritrea as well as Syria living in camps near the northern French port.

TRTWorld and agencies