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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.

Calls for better control of migrants in Calais

A Kent MP has joined calls for the French to use their armed forces to control migrants in Calais.

And Folkestone's Damian Collins says Britain should be prepared to help if the French can't cope.

It comes after a group of migrants trying to get to Britain broke through security at the Port of Calais and got on board a cross channel ferry.

Phil Hornby reports.

Exclusive video: Calais crisis - Family's shock as migrants attempt to get in their car

Anjie Evans and her family were returning from holiday in France when they were caught in the Calais migrant crisis.

On her Facebook page, Anjie told of her shock as desperate men, women and children tried to get on lorries and cars stuck in jams at the crossing. They even tried to get into her car.

Anjie said: "Wonderful journey back from France yesterday, NOT! One of them charged over and smacked my Billy in the face through the open window, thankfully didn't hurt him. Very scary. The poor lorry driver in front had just locked those doors and they ripped them open and piled in. It's like a game to them!! Our 8pm ferry left at 11pm".


Migrant crisis: UK-French centre to tackle traffickers

The British and French governments today announced a radical overhaul of security at Calais.

New measures designed to end the cross-Channel travel chaos we've seen this summer, include a new control and command centre in Calais where French and British police will work side by side.

It should mean we see far, far less of Operation Stack and the gridlock it causes in Kent.

But there are concerns the Calais crackdown will simply result in migrants trying to enter Britain through other European ports.

This from John Ryall.

Road Haulage Association welcomes new agreement to tackle migrant crisis

The Road Haulage Association has welcomed Home Secretary Theresa May's announcement today on signing a new agreement with her French counterpart to help tackle the migrant crisis in Calais.

Executive Richard Burnett asked for the Home Secretary's assurance that the government will work closely with the RHA to continue to reduce this problem.

"This is vital, particularly if the location of attacks on our members’ vehicles moves further out from the Port and Tunnel areas as we suspect will be the case. I am pleased that she gave that assurance."

– Richard Burnett, Road Haulage Association

The RHA welcomes other measures included in today’s signed agreement include:

  • The deployment of extra French policing units
  • Additional UK resources to secure the Eurotunnel railhead including fencing, CCTV, flood lighting and infrared detection technology, and stronger security within the tunnel itself
  • Additional freight search teams, including detection dogs