Immigrants Arrests Up Month On From Calais Disruption

A month on from the massive disruption as ferry workers striked in Calais, Heart has been told more immigrants have since been arrested in Bedfordshire

This time last month, strikes carried out by ferry workers over the Channel in Calais meant dozens of ferry and Eurostar services had to be cancelled.

That left lorries and cars queuing for miles back from the port and hundreds of immigrants were seen trying to climb into or onto vehicles headed back to the UK.

That impact is clear this morning as Heart has since been given figures revealing more than 100 immigrants have been picked up in Bedfordshire over the last six weeks.

Those numbers had already been steadily going up month on month before the disruption:

Jan 2015

16

Feb 2015

27

Mar 2015

30

Apr 2015

41

May 2015

66

Jun 2015

89

Jul 2015 (*to 16 July)

18

(Those figures include every possible arrest where some sort of immigration offence was recorded, including where someone was arrested for another issue (e.g. assault) and then found to be wanted for an immigration offence and so subsequently detained for that immigration offence.)

Chief Superintendent David Boyle said: “Bedfordshire’s infrastructure and national and international transport links make the county, especially Toddington motorway services, particularly susceptible to call-outs involving suspected immigration offences.

“The recent cross-channel ferry workers strikes accounted for a rise in calls of this nature during May and June and we responded appropriately.

“Additionally, public awareness is growing which has led to an increase in reporting from lorry drivers and residents, who are doing the right thing in being vigilant and calling us.

“We will continue to deal with incidents like this as and when they arise, though the numbers have dropped significantly compared with last month. We always work closely with Immigration Enforcement to process any detainees as quickly as possible and this partnership will continue.”

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