How Portsmouth has shared Dover's problems with illegal immigrants entering its port

DOVER is not the only port to have been targeted by illegal migrants '“ Portsmouth has also seen dozens of asylum seekers entering the Britain unlawfully.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 8:57 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:22 pm
Police dealing with 31 suspected illegal immigrants found in lorry in Quartremaine Road, Copnor, in September last year Picture : Habibur Rahman

Yesterday Royal Navy warship HMS Mersey left her home port of Portsmouth to help stem the tide of illegal migrants.

As previously reported by The News, Portsmouth has accepted about 100 unaccompanied minors who arrived in the city in various ways, including stowed away in the back of lorries.

In September a large group of illegal immigrants, including children as young as two, were found in the back of lorry after arriving on the island.

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Police dealing with 31 suspected illegal immigrants found in lorry in Quartremaine Road, Copnor, in September last year Picture : Habibur Rahman

The group were stopped during a raid in Quartremaine Road, Copnor, after a tip-off by the public.

Among those found included 22 men, aged between 20 and 30 '“ including three Iraqis and three Iranians '“ five unaccompanied Iraqis, aged 16 to 17, as well as a family of four which included two children aged two and four.

Little more than two months later, a report by the chief inspector of borders and immigration, David Bolt, highlighted how migrants were taking advantage of Portsmouth's under-staffed checkpoint.

Officers in Portsmouth told inspectors that migrants were '˜well aware of border force's limited resources', and would split up and hide in different trailers in the belief that if one was detected the agency would not have the capacity to search the other trailers as thoroughly.