WATCH: Police find 32 suspected illegal immigrants after Portsmouth raid

Police have found a large number of suspected illegal immigrants after a raid on a lorry in Portsmouth this morning. 

The immigration raid happened on Quartremaine Road near the Veolia recycling centre. 

Police dealing with 32 suspected illegal immigrants found in lorry in Quartremaine Road, Portsmouth. Picture : Habibur Rahman

Police were called shortly after 8am this morning by a member of public reporting concerns for the welfare of a number of people, in the back of a lorry. 

The lorry, which has the name Ricardo Paul on it, was raided by officers alongside Border Force. 

An official spokesman for Hampshire police said: ‘We were called at 8.07am by a member of the public reporting concerns for the welfare of a number of people in the back of a lorry.

‘Officers are currently with the lorry on Quartremaine Road and are making enquiries.’

A Hampshire police officer at the scene, outside Portsmouth Enterprise Centre and near Airport Service Road, said 32 men were found in the lorry and that there are no fears for public safety or security.

Read More: Police dealing with 32 suspected illegal immigrants found in lorry in Portsmouth

Ronan Kehoe, 40, who is carrying out steel work at the ‘new police station’ down the road witnessed the raid and described it as ‘shocking’. 

He said: ‘When I walked past I saw the lorry, lots of police cars, and as I went further I saw it was immigrants who had been found.

‘It’s quite shocking. I’ve been working on this job since the second week of January and this is the first time I have seen anything like this - it’s very surprising.’ 

Read More: Live updates from Portsmouth ‘immigration operation’ 

Arron Brown, 25, who works with Mr Kehoe, called it ‘mental’. 

He added: ‘This is mental, I’ve never seen anything like it.

‘32 is a lot of people to be coming here.

‘I’ve been on this job for two months and I didn’t even know this sort of thing happens.’

A passer-by, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the incident looks like ‘a massive police operation’. 

Police have been at the scene and busy since 8.15am - speaking to immigrants, ushering traffic, and working in partnership with Border Force and Immigration Enforcement who are at the scene.

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