Hastings and Rye migrant arrivals: MP writes to the Home Secretary

Hastings and Rye MP Sally-Ann Hart has written to the Home Secretary to express her concerns about the recent migrant landings at Pett Level.

Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 10:05 am
Sally-Ann Hart, Hastings and Rye MP SUS-191004-160601001

In the past few months, 52 migrants have been detained along the coastline between Hastings and Rye, before being taken to Dover.

Mrs Hart said the recent arrival of migrant boats has been causing ‘deep unease and concern’ for local residents ‘especially in the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic’.

In her letter to Priti Patel, Mrs Hart asked a series of questions of the Home Secretary.

Migrants arriving in Hastings in April. Picture: Kevin Boorman SUS-200804-190121001

She wrote: “What work is being undertaken with out European neighbours to ensure that these Channel crossings do not happen in the first place? What work is underway to work with other nations to clamp down on human trafficking and exploitation that is clearly behind a lot of these crossings?

“What checks are being done to ensure that when migrants arrive here in the UK, and are apprehended by the authorities that they are tested for Covid-19? Can it be established whether or not they are bringing coronavirus to the UK?

“What support is being given by the Government to the local authorities, including the coastguard, to patrol the Channel and this vulnerable stretch of coastline, and prevent these dangerous crossings from taking place?

“There have been reports that when migrants are landing at the beach of Pett Level they are being taken to locations in Hastings. Can you confirm that when the authorities, here in the UK, apprehend the migrants, where are they being taken for detention? Are there locations in Hastings being used for this purpose?”

In the past month, 52 migrants have been detained along the coastline between Hastings and Rye after crossing the Channel.

On April 8, 23 migrants were stopped in Hastings and on April 12, a boat carrying 25 men and four women was intercepted as it approached the area.

According to the Home Office, all individuals – including groups taken from boats intercepted between Hastings and Dover – were taken to Dover where they would then be transferred to immigration officials.

In her letter to the Home Secretary, Mrs Hart added: “My constituents are rightly concerned and worries at these recent developments in the increase in the numbers making these journeys and the actions being taken by our authorities once the migrants land on our beaches.

“I have written to you seeking answers on their behalf and asking that, as a country, we do more with our European neighbours to bring an end the scourge of human trafficking and thereby reduce and eliminate these dangerous Channel crossings.