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Police hail protest operation a success

A large-scale policing operation to facilitate a protest by various groups in Dover has ended successfully according to Kent Police..

There was a large police presence on the streets of Dover this afternoon and officers used temporary powers to stop and search people and vehicles for offensive weapons and dangerous instruments.

One man was arrested on suspicion of possession of offensive weapons. Three men who arrived in Dover were arrested in connection with the protest that was held in Dover on 30 January.

Protesters started to arrive during the morning with a large group assembled by the roundabout at the bottom of Jubilee Way. A march left Dover Priory Station shortly after 1.00pm. Some roads were closed for the safety of both motorists and protesters while the march made its way towards Dover’s eastern docks.

The procession was delayed while protesters from an opposing group failed to comply with a condition to assemble in a designated area near Marine Parade and eight protesters were arrested.

A man was also arrested on suspicion of the theft of a police baseball cap.

“Kent Police planned for a proportionate policing operation that was impartial, firm and fair, and all the objectives we set, were met successfully.

“As I made clear in the run up to the events today, the right to protest inevitably causes disruption to the community. That is largely unavoidable – we do all we can to minimise that disruption.

“I fully appreciate the frustration caused when a road is closed. This decision is not made lightly and only after consulting with Highways England and Kent County Council. It was necessary, to allow us to facilitate the protest and ensure the safety of both motorists and protesters.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and co-operation.”

– Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Neil Jerome

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Thousands detained at migrant holding centres in Kent

Migrants forced to sleep on concrete floors with dirty blankets Credit: HM Prisons Inspectorate

The Chief Inspector of Prisons has condemned border officials in Kent for holding thousands of migrants - including children - at centres in Folkestone and Dover without food, hot drinks, or medical checks. In some cases, forcing them to sleep on a concrete floor.

During last summer's crisis, which saw the Channel Tunnel and ferries suspended on dozens of occasions, and the M20 closed for Operation Stack:

  • More than 3,600 migrants were apprehended and detained at three bases on the Kent coast
  • Between July to September, about 1,200 people were held each month at Dover and Folkestone
  • That's equivalent to 40 detained each day

The prison inspectorate report reveals - for the first time - the sheer scale of the numbers caught entering the UK through Kent.

You can watch Abigail Bracken's report below. Interviewees are: the Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke; Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins; and Phil Kerton from Seeking Sanctuary.

Conditions of Kent immigration centres criticised in report

A report by the prison inspectorate has condemned the conditions in which migrants were held at the Channel Tunnel and Dover.

Almost 5000 entered Kent illegally last year. The migrants -including hundreds of children - were housed on concrete floors, with no food, or hot drinks, and no immediate medical attention.

ITV Meridian spoke to Chief Inspector of Prisons, Peter Clarke, and Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe.

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French minister: Calais migrant camp would come to Kent

A senior French minister triggered a furious political row today by saying the Calais migrant camp will come to Kent if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

Economy minister Emmanuel Macron told the Financial Times that leaving would end the agreement that allows the UK to enforce border controls - and keep unwanted migrants on the French side of the Channel.

It's the first time a French government figure has made such a threat. But it's being branded "scaremongering' by MPs campaigning for the UK to remain in the EU. More from our political correspondent Phil Hornby.

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