Camp mi­grants re­turn­ing home

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - UK & World Update - By KIRSTEN BEACOCK kirsten.beacock@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

She said: “In terms of pop­u­la­tion our prob­lem is not that dis­sim­i­lar to London and these num­bers re­flect the num­bers we see com­ing through our doors.

“The fact that we are find­ing more peo­ple is a pos­i­tive thing and the coun­cil has put a lot more re­source into the prob­lem but this num­ber is still the tip of the ice­berg.

“The fact the prob­lem is big and we have had our fund­ing stopped it is a mas­sive is­sue for us but the pub­lic have never been so gen­er­ous with do­nat­ing to help us.”

A coun­cil spokes­woman con­firmed all of those found sleep­ing rough were of­fered drug, al­co­hol or life­style sup­port from St Theresa’s. HOME­LESS mi­grants in Peter­bor­ough are aban­don­ing their squalid make-shift camps in sig­nif­i­cant num­bers to re­turn home.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has re­vealed that since launch­ing its tough pi­lot scheme in April telling for­eign EU peo­ple sleep­ing rough to get a job or leave the coun­try, they have found 77 peo­ple and the ma­jor­ity have de­cided to leave.

These fig­ures fol­low a snap home­less count by Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, po­lice and St Theresa’s char­ity last week which shows home­less­ness among mi­grants is still an is­sue.

Of the 26 peo­ple found sleep­ing on the streets of Peter­bor­ough, 22 were for­eign na­tion­als and be­lieved to be dif­fer­ent to the 77 iden­ti­fied by the UKBA.

An­other make-shift, mi­grant camp has also been dis­cov­ered by the ET yes­ter­day in Thorpe Mead­ows.

City MP Ste­wart Jack­son said he would be meet­ing im­mi­gra­tion min­is­ter Damian Green to dis­cuss the city’s sit­u­a­tion: “Peo­ple are rightly up­set that the im­age of Peter­bor­ough has been dam­aged be­cause of the EU mi­gra­tion pol­icy and I will be meet­ing with Mr Green in the next few weeks to talk about the ac­tion taken by the UKBA.”

He said that im­mi­gra­tion has been the num­ber one is­sue for Peter­bor­ough for the last five years.

He added: “I will also be writ­ing to all the am­bas­sadors of ev­ery EU coun­try ask­ing them to do more to en­sure that peo­ple do not come to the UK to not work and claim ben­e­fits. They can­not be a bur­den on city tax­pay­ers.”

The scale of the is­sue has been high­lighted by the ET over the last few months. The city was cho­sen by the UKBA to pi­lot the scheme aimed at mak­ing home­less EU mi­grants find work or leave the UK.

In just two months, 77 mi­grants have been found by the UKBA with 28 agree­ing to go home vol­un­tar­ily and one be­ing forcibly de­ported.

The re­main­ing 49 have been served with “minded to re­move” letters by the UKBA ask­ing them to at­tend an in­ter­view.

Af­ter this, 12 are now wait­ing to leave, 15 are work­ing with their em­bassies to leave, 16 peo­ple are be­ing helped get their ID doc­u­men­ta­tion back so they can leave and three have man­aged to find work. Three cases are cur­rently out­stand­ing.

De­spite the rise in home­less­ness recorded in Peter­bor­ough, chair­man of St Theresa’s Sue Wat­ters said the fig­ures were a “true re­flec­tion” of the prob­lem.

SHEL­TER:

Pic­ture: ROW­LAND HOB­SON.

A mi­grant camp in Thorpe Mead­ows yes­ter­day. (METP-02-06-10RH17)

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