THE MP for Portsmouth South has taken up her concerns over security at the city’s port with Theresa May after 28 illegal immigrants were smuggled in on a lorry.
Mrs Drummond met the home secretary to discuss steps the government is taking to stop families getting through port security illegally.
While the number of illegal immigrants entering the UK through Portsmouth has remained mostly static in previous years, these events serve to focus the mind on this issue and reminds us that we have to remain vigilant.Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond
Mrs May said the number of illegal immigrants entering through Portsmouth ‘remains static’ – but Mrs Drummond has called for authorities to remain vigilant and on alert for suspicious behaviour.
She said: ‘While the number of illegal immigrants entering the UK through Portsmouth has remained mostly static in previous years, these events serve to focus the mind on this issue and reminds us that we have to remain vigilant.’
Immigration officers have conducted ‘intensification exercises’, which has seen more resources being put into tackling illegal immigration.
Mrs Drummond added: ‘Our Border Force do an excellent job in keeping our borders safe in often very difficult circumstances.
‘There is a focus on tackling illegal immigration into the UK, and I am confident that with the vigilance of local people assisting with providing information, we can continue to effectively prevent illegal immigration via Portsmouth.’
It comes after Home Office officials revealed the nationalities of the 28 illegal immigrants who were found on a HGV vehicle after it was pulled over by police off Walton Road, in Drayton, last Saturday.
Ten were Sudanese, seven Ethiopian and 11 are Eritrean nationals.
Their cases are now being dealt with by immigration officers.
One child is in the care of social services, and one person was taken to hospital.
The rest of the group were passed to immigration officers to be screened.
The driver of the lorry was arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry into the UK, and has been bailed pending further enquiries.