Fears over Hayling Island being targeted by illegal immigrants

Northney Marina in Hayling Island
Northney Marina in Hayling Island
  • Councillor wants CCTV surveillance on Hayling seafront
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AN ISLAND is at risk of being targeted by migrants looking to make their way to Britain, according to a councillor.

County councillor Frank Pearce believes the lack of security on Hayling’s beaches makes it a target for those looking to make the trip across the Channel illegally.

It comes after 28 suspected illegal immigrants were found in a lorry in Portsmouth last week and 17 suspected illegal immigrants were found in Chichester Marina.

Cllr Pearce said: ‘After the recent events where immigrants were found in boats in Chichester Marina, I am concerned that a similar situation could unfold on Hayling Island.

‘The island has several marinas which makes it vulnerable to being targeted by migrants as a way into the country.

‘The marinas have visitor moorings, making for easier access for boats to come ashore.’

Frank Pearce, Hayling Island county councillor, on Hayling seafront

Frank Pearce, Hayling Island county councillor, on Hayling seafront

Cllr Pearce feels the introduction of video surveillance on Hayling’s beaches would nullify the threat of migrants coming ashore.

He said: ‘We don’t have the resources to patrol the beaches on Hayling Island, but the installation of two CCTV cameras, one in the old coastguard station and one on the bridge coming into Hayling, would make the island more prepared.’

Cindy Brown, a Hayling Island resident, added: ‘I walk my dogs every morning and it can be very isolated at certain times of the day.

‘It makes the island very vulnerable as people could come and go ashore without anyone else really knowing.’

Residents’ fears are shared by the National Crime Agency after a leaked report stated small marinas are easier targets.

A spokeswoman for Havant Borough Council, which patrols the beaches, said there had been no reports.

She said: ‘We have not had any reports here about anyone coming in via the coastline. We have refugees coming into the borough, but they are ones who come in officially seeking asylum.’