Refugees arriving in UK on boats asked to find own accommodation

1 month ago 13

Asylum seekers who get successful the UK connected tiny boats are being asked to find their ain accommodation, the Guardian has been told, prompting fears that immoderate could extremity up successful the hands of traffickers.

Record numbers of asylum seekers person arrived successful tiny boats this twelvemonth with 33,573 arsenic of 3 October. Last year, determination were 28,526 tiny vessel arrivals and successful 2020 determination were 8,404.

New arrivals are taken to Manston, an airbase adjacent Ramsgate, Kent, wherever they spell done archetypal processing, with galore accommodated successful respective ample tents connected the site. Once processed they are usually moved to hotels oregon migration removal centres.

However, immoderate refugees and whistleblowers moving connected the tract accidental determination are delays and radical person been held for longer periods owed to a deficiency of disposable accommodation, which is astatine capacity.

This has led to asylum seekers being asked to root their ain accommodation, which quality rights campaigners fearfulness could pb to immoderate falling into the hands of traffickers.

Bella Sankey, the CEO of the foundation Detention Action, said: “I person heard horrific grounds of children, women and men being unlawfully detained for implicit a week successful makeshift tents and squalor.

“We person received credible reports that the Home Office is present releasing traumatised and susceptible people, without checks, that could pb to them ending up successful the hands of traffickers. Whistleblowers astatine Manston are telling america that the authorities has mislaid power of the concern for caller arrivals.”

Home Office sources said radical were released from Manston aft afloat information checks had been carried out, and they were connected migration bail and had to study to Home Office reporting centres oregon look enforcement action.

Whistleblowers person raised concerns that immoderate radical who are released to addresses they person recovered themselves could autumn into the hands of traffickers.

The Guardian has heard 2 recordings of unit astatine Manston asking recently arrived asylum seekers to supply a telephone fig of idiosyncratic they tin enactment with.

It is feared that asylum seekers who person nary contacts for household oregon friends successful the UK are asking smugglers to supply a telephone fig and code that tin beryllium fixed to the Home Office. Some refugees are providing the aforesaid telephone fig and address.

One whistleblower said: “We don’t cognize if the asylum seekers are going to suitable lodging oregon not. A telephone is made, officers accidental ‘are you OK to instrumentality this person’, past they’re fixed a question warrant and enactment connected a train.”

On 1 of the recordings, a antheral from a state successful westbound Africa tin beryllium heard saying a person successful his location state gave him interaction details for a comparative helium past saw 2 years ago. He has been told helium lives successful London but helium does not cognize where.

Another whistleblower said tiny vessel arrivals were treated precise severely astatine Manston. They said: “It’s truly appalling conditions. The managers don’t care. All they are funny successful is the profits arsenic they get paid by the Home Office.”

A fig of antithetic contractors are moving connected the Manston site.

Many asylum seekers get successful mediocre information aft their journey. Some are suffering from hypothermia oregon substance burns. There was an outbreak of Norovirus connected the tract past month.

One asylum seeker, who has present near Manston, said: “It was similar a prison. I was sleeping connected the level without a blanket. One subordinate of unit said to me: ‘Why person you travel to the UK? This is our state and it is full. Why are you asking for food? Go backmost to your country’.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The continued emergence successful unsafe tiny vessel crossings is causing an unprecedented strain connected our asylum system. Manston is resourced and equipped to process migrants securely and we volition supply alternate accommodation arsenic soon arsenic possible.

“Despite the lies they person been sold by radical smugglers, those entering the UK illegally via the Channel volition not beryllium allowed to commencement a caller beingness here. These individuals volition beryllium successful scope to beryllium relocated to Rwanda nether our migration and economical improvement partnership.”

Home Office sources said: “We supply for each the basal needs of radical who volition person arrived tired, cold, successful bedewed covering and who whitethorn not person eaten during their journey. We supply suitable payment provisions including blistery food, caller clothing, toilet facilities, sanitary packs and aesculapian care.”