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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.


Channel Tunnel asylum walker due in court

A Sudanese man granted asylum in Britain after apparently walking through the Channel Tunnel from France will appear in court.

Abdul Rahman Haroun who's 40, is expected to learn whether prosecutors plan to drop their criminal case against him following his asylum win.

Abdul Rahman Haroun walked the length of the Channel Tunnel Credit: ITV Meridian

He was charged with causing an obstruction to an engine or carriage using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861 after being arrested in Folkestone last August.

But earlier this month at a hearing at Canterbury Crown Court it emerged that Haroun had been granted permission to stay in Britain on Christmas Eve. Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel said it was disappointed with the decision, saying granting him asylum may encourage others to attempt the same perilous journey.

Haroun, who is on bail, will appear at Canterbury Crown Court in front of Judge Adele Williams from 2pm this afternoon.

Channel Tunnel walker given refugee status - Canterbury Crown Court told

Abdul Haroun has been granted conditional bail and prosecutors given two weeks to decide whether to continue with the prosecution. The court was told that Mr Haroun was granted asylum on Christmas Eve.

He is charged with causing an obstruction to a train using the railway under the Malicious Damage Act 1861. Mr Haroun was arrested in August last year just steps away from the Folkestone entrance to the tunnel.

This is believed to be the first incident of a migrant successfully managing to walk the length of the Channel Tunnel.

The case has been adjourned to January 18.


Another migrant found dead trying to cross through Channel Tunnel

Eurotunnel says there has been no impact on flow of services Credit: ITV

Another migrant has been found dead after apparently making a bid to cross to Britain through the Channel Tunnel in France.

The man, an Eritrean aged in his 20s, is believed to have been hit by a freight train near the entrance at around 1am.

Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel said the person was found unconscious near the tracks outside the tunnel.

A spokesman said: "It's another very regrettable incident which serves to highlight the risks associated with crossing the Channel illegally."

Eurotunnel said it "deplored" the accident, which had no impact on the flow of services. The shuttle driver and colleagues will receive psychological care.

The man is the 13th migrant to die since the start of the cross-Channel migrant crisis, which has placed UK police and social services under huge strain.

Migrant killed at Channel Tunnel

Credit: PA

A migrant has been killed after being struck by a train at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in France. It's the eleventh death reported at Eurotunnel this year.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said the man was found unconscious beside the track at around 2.30am on Thursday morning.

It's believed the man is an African national either from from Sudan or Eritrean.

There are no significant delays to services, Eurotunnel say.

Sudanese national arrested after 'intrusion' inside Channel Tunnel

Eurotunnel has confirmed that a migrant was intercepted inside the Channel Tunnel yesterday .

Eurotunnel's detection systems identified 'an intrusion' near to the Tunnel entrance in France. As soon as the alarm was raised, Eurotunnel closed the French entrance to the Tunnel and police searched the area.

Eurotunnel said: "A criminal intrusion into the Channel Tunnel is an extremely rare incident. It is both illegal and highly dangerous. This person could have been seriously injured or even killed."

Following the detailed search of the Tunnel a Sudanese national was intercepted and arrested by the Channel Tunnel Police. Charges are being pressed.

Full service through the Channel Tunnel resumed in the late afternoon.

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