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Human traffickers using 'increasingly dangerous' tactics

Human traffickers are using "increasingly dangerous" tactics in a bid to dodge strict border controls, a Home Office spokeswoman has said.

It comes after 15 people were discovered in a lorry in Ilminster, Somerset, earlier today.

The spokeswoman said border and immigration officers were now assisting Avon and Somerset Police in their investigation.

We continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies both here and in Europe to target the organised crime gangs behind the majority of people-smuggling.

These criminals are constantly modifying their tactics in an attempt to evade strengthened border controls and we are seeing increasingly dangerous methods being used, including the use of sealed or refrigerated vehicles.

We would warn those who are tempted to put their lives in the hands of organised smugglers, that they are putting themselves and their families at risk.

– ome Office spokeswoman

Lorry doors 'opened in Calais' for nine minutes

The doors of a lorry found containing 15 people suffering from possible dehydration near Ilminster was opened in the French port of Calais for nine minutes, sources tell ITV News.

ITV News producer Sandi Sidhu has tweeted:

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Police inspect lorry after passengers taken away

There is still a heavy police presence at the service station near Ilminster, Somerset where a lorry full of people was stopped today.

Police next to the lorry at Southfields service station Credit: ITV News
A police officer looks inside the space where 15 people are believed to have been transported from mainland Europe Credit: ITV News

Council seeking accommodation for lorry passengers

Somerset Council has said it is seeking temporary accommodation for 15 passengers of a lorry that was stopped near Ilminster.

Man arrested over Somerset lorry case is the driver

ITV News understands that the man arrested in connection with the 15 people found in a lorry in Somerset is the driver.

ITV News producer Sandi Sidhu has tweeted:

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Lorry stopped in Calais before reaching UK

ITV News understands the lorry carrying the 15 passengers belongs to a firm called Thermotraffic and that it stopped in Calais before reaching the UK.

ITV News producer Sandi Sidhu has tweeted:

Police have said the vehicle "originated in mainland Europe" and that it "has been seized as part of our investigation".

Police: Lorry passengers include a 15-year-old boy

Police say they were alerted to the presence of 15 individuals after people reported hearing "noises coming from the back of the lorry".

They previously reported that there had been 20 people onboard.

Large, white HGV seen at closed service station

A reporter for Chard and Ilminster News has tweeted this photo purporting to show the closed service station at Southfield roundabout.

A large heavy goods vehicle can be seen in the background surrounded by police and ambulances.

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