KentOnline: Asylum seekers disappear from Napier Barracks, Folkestone

KentOnline: Asylum seekers disappear from Napier Barracks, Folkestone

Article by Sam Williams for KentOnline - published 14 December 2020

Concerns have been raised following claims eight asylum seekers have disappeared from military barracks.

Around 400 people - all adult men - are currently being housed at the Napier Barracks in Folkestone, which has been transformed into a temporary dispersal facility by the Home Office.

Service users are free to leave the barracks, although have to be back by 10pm.

Now it has been revealed that since September, eight asylum seekers have disappeared from the army base, and they are currently missing.

The figures were reported in The Telegraph.

Now, MP for the area Damian Collins has called into question security at the camp.

He says he will write to the Home Office to ask 'what has gone wrong'.

Mr Collins said: "I’m extremely concerned that since September eight asylum seekers have disappeared from the barracks, their current location unknown and their applications presumably suspended.

"I’ve been in constant communication with the Home Secretary, the Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts, and Home Office officials since September about Napier Barracks, and have repeatedly been assured that the asylum seekers would receive all the support that they needed on-site, whilst their applications are processed.

"The number of asylum seekers that have already left the camp raises serious questions about the security of the Napier Barracks facility.

"I’ve written to the Home Office to request an urgent clarification of what has gone wrong."

Napier Barracks were turned into temporary accommodation in September following an influx of people arriving in the UK seeking asylum, many on small boats which had crossed the channel.

Since then, both protests and welcome events have been held outside the gates by demonstrators who fall on either side of the migrant debate.

A Home Office spokesperson, said: “We are fixing our broken asylum system to make it firm and fair. We will seek to stop abuse of the system while ensuring it is compassionate towards those who need our help.

“We hand details of anyone who absconds to the police and our specialist tracing team, who do everything they can to track these individuals down and, once found, their claim may be rejected.”

Copyright 2021 Damian Collins. All rights reserved

Promoted by Stephen James for and on behalf of Damian Collins, both of Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association both at 4 West Cliff Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1SP


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