ENTERTAINMENT

What happens after the migrant boats land here every day? Sue Reid reports from Kent


All Sue Cook wanted was to get to work and help the friend she had been looking after for years, a woman in her seventies with health problems.

But the road to her friend's house was blocked. Migrants stood on it, the police had parked their patrol cars and were trying to collect them. It wasn't the first time Sue had found the road blocked this way and she showed her frustration.

What happened next in this attractive corner of Kent made headlines this week. Sue was filmed yelling at the 16 migrants from Syria and Sri Lanka who had landed an hour earlier in a small gray rubber dinghy from Calais on the nearby beach.

The men, women and children were among the many hundreds who illegally sailed into this part of the English coast in the past month. And to say the large number of arrivals boggled the nerves of residents near Dover Ferry Terminal is an understatement.

A video clip was posted online by a photographer who happened to find Sue Cook (pictured) in front of a group of migrants in Kent last Tuesday morning

Men, women and children are among the many hundreds who have sailed illegally into this part of the English coast in the past month and the number of arrivals has shaken the nerves of Kent residents

Men, women and children are among the many hundreds who have sailed illegally into this part of the English coast in the past month and the number of arrivals has shaken the nerves of Kent residents

More newcomers are traveling inland this week. Most migrants are being removed in buses by Border Force officials (now housed in droves in hostels around the ferry terminal) for asylum checks at hotels in different parts of the country

More newcomers are traveling inland this week. Most migrants are being removed in buses by Border Force officials (now housed in droves in hostels around the ferry terminal) for asylum checks at hotels in different parts of the country

A video clip was posted online by a photographer who happened to find Sue in front of the group of migrants last Tuesday morning at 10:45 am. It shows how she uses an unexpectedly rich language for a housewife and retiree of 68 years.

But when Sue opens the door of her townhouse in the shadow of Dover Castle with a warm smile, she doesn't seem like an unreasonable or angry woman. "Come in and have a coffee," she says when I knock and say I'm from the press. A minute later she added, “I don't mind what you say about me, but don't call me a fanatic or a racist. & # 39;

A supporter of the Royal Family, Sue says her proudest moment was standing a few feet from the Queen four years ago during the monarch's 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle.

However, the unfortunate footage doesn't embarrass them in the least. Sitting on the sofa in her immaculate living room, she explains, “The morning I met the migrants was the day of the Battle of Britain and that was in my head.

My father was with the Royal Marines and spent five years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. I was out in my car to take care of my boyfriend. “I go to help her for a few hours twice a week and have been for years. This was the second time migrants who had just come across the canal had blocked the street entrance to their home. "

The footage doesn't embarrass Sue (above) in the least. Sitting on the sofa in her pristine living room, she explains, "The morning I met the migrants was the day of the Battle of Britain and that was in my head."

The footage doesn't embarrass Sue (above) in the least. Sitting on the sofa in her pristine living room, she explains, "The morning I met the migrants was the day of the Battle of Britain and that was in my head."

They had spare clothes, including a brown Barbour-style jacket, hung on a road sign; There was a smart suitcase on the sidewalk, and the police who found it were busy on their phones and alerting immigration officials. "I couldn't get past them. I was late and got out and told them to move. A policewoman warned me to pay attention to my language.

I said that in England we all have free speech. In the end, the police escorted me to work in their car with a flashing blue light. So in the end we were friends. "

Sue has lived in Dover for years. She is at the forefront of fighting an endless stream of arriving migrants. This year alone, 6,000 have surfaced in Kent after crossing by sea, mocking Boris Johnson's government campaign promise to control Britain's borders.

"I feel sorry for many of the migrants," she says. "What worries us in Dover is the number of young men between 18 and 35." What are they going to do in this country? You could come in with guns. Are there jihadists, terrorists or criminals among them? Nobody really knows. "

It all started about five years ago with a trickle of migrant boats. We weren't worried. Some locals gave them sandwiches and water. Now it's out of control. "

A boatload of migrants lands at Kingsdown Beach on the Kent coast

A boatload of migrants lands at Kingsdown Beach on the Kent coast

It must be said that this Sue looks very different from the one shown in the video clip in which she struts around in front of the migrants in shorts and a t-shirt and tells them to clear the street.

They obviously don't understand a word she is saying as they stare blankly at them and the police are pretty obviously pointing out that they are foreigners. "Whichever language you spoke, my message was clear", Sue admits with a roll of her eyes and a laugh. "I wanted you to get out of the way so I could get to work on time."

After the video went online, among the emails and texts Sue received were some from friends, family, and even strangers who said she did the right thing. From Surrey, Sue's daughter, a 41-year-old single mother, called and said she was proud of her. And her long-time partner, former mechanic Rod, 71, is just as happy.

Locals say that many migrants feel sorry for them but are concerned about the number of young men between 18 and 35 and what jobs they will do in this country

Locals say that many migrants feel sorry for them but are concerned about the number of young men between 18 and 35 and what jobs they will do in this country

As we talk, I remind her of another woman of a certain age – Gillian Duffy, a 65-year-old widow, grandmother, and lifelong Labor voter, who got tangled up with then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2010 on the thorny issue of uncontrolled immigration.

Mrs. Duffy came across Mr. Brown while buying a loaf of bread in Rochdale. He was campaigning on the streets of the city in Greater Manchester.

Later, when the Prime Minister was being driven away in his Jaguar, he was overheard by a Sky News microphone that he carelessly left on his lapel and called Ms. Duffy a "bigoted woman." "

I can't be called this word, "Sue says with feeling, although she confides during our conversation:" I don't like the French very much. “Her confrontation with migrants as an individual has been, as she emphasizes, frustrated and not politically inspired.

Like many others I spoke to in Dover this week, she feels that Kent is bearing the brunt of the seemingly relentless boat trip. Most migrants are being removed in buses by Border Force officials (now housed in droves in hostels around the ferry terminal) for asylum checks at hotels in different parts of the country.

But it is Dover residents, walking their dogs on the shore, sipping tea in seaside cafes, and fishing on the beaches who see the scale of the problem when flotilla after flotilla reaches Britain.

Migrants who have not been intercepted in the canal and brought to safety by Border Force cutters or RNLI lifeboats and taken to the port of Dover run away from the coast as soon as they arrive, as do the migrants Sue Cook with this week was faced.

They are trying to evade the authorities because they do not want to be trapped in the asylum system for months, if not years, and hope by whatever means to find their own way in Britain. Earlier this month, three African girls were found hiding above the beaches in bushes near the city's golf course at 10:20 a.m.

Migrants have been spotted in back gardens perched by the roadside and at the nearby Martin Mill train station, where, according to locals, they board trains without tickets and take the direct route to London

Migrants have been spotted in back gardens perched by the roadside and at the nearby Martin Mill train station, where, according to locals, they board trains without tickets and take the direct route to London

The man who found them believes they were intended for the sex trade. "They didn't have English and could only say 'Get London'," he said this week. He called Border Force officers who took them away.

Migrants have been spotted in back gardens perched by the roadside and at the nearby Martin Mill train station, where, according to locals, they board trains without tickets and take the direct route to London.

"With Covid there were few ticket collectors," said a woman who was walking her spaniel on a beach in Dover. "Nobody stops them and they escape." As the Post has revealed and the government pointed out, the small-ship voyages are organized by ruthless people smuggling Calais-based gangs who, from a criminal trade that transports desperate people, millions make across the canal, a distance of approximately 22 miles.

The boats start at around midnight on the northern French coast and arrive under the White Cliffs of Dover seven hours later if the weather is fine. Many of those on board are really fleeing persecution or war. However, the gangs are not interested in the background of their customers.

With tentacles stretching back through Europe to the Greek islands, where migrants are waiting with the word "England" on their lips, they take money from anyone who will pay for the passage to Great Britain. Among them are those who do not have asylum rights but hope to enter the thriving black market for jobs and improve their lives financially – and those with more dubious plans.

Some of the migrants have suspiciously expensive clothes and trainers. A quartet of young men spotted on a beach in Dover earlier this month after jumping off a boat were so well dressed – one in a straw trilby, another in a stylish black flat cap – that locals thought them to be "Boyband" designated before they posed a picture.

At first, the migrants hid in trucks that crossed by ferry. Then it was on trains going through the Channel Tunnel. A third very successful travel option is now being offered: the small boats.

At first, the migrants hid in trucks that crossed by ferry. Then it was on trains going through the Channel Tunnel. A third very successful travel option is now being offered: the small boats.

It's a sad story. But the people-smuggling gangs that send migrants from France have gained the upper hand. For 20 years they have operated with almost impunity in Calais, where today 2,000 migrants are waiting in hopes of reaching the UK.

At first, the migrants hid in trucks that crossed by ferry. Then it was on trains going through the Channel Tunnel. A third very successful travel option is now being offered: the small boats.

In a somewhat belated fight by the Home Office, Britain's first migrant camp is due to open on Monday. It will house 400 male migrants in a former military barracks a few kilometers from Dover on the coast in Folkestone.

The official reason for this? Lowering taxpayers' costs on hotels that currently provide thousands of emergency rooms for newcomers at the cost of many millions per month. The camp will of course be a more uncomfortable environment than a hotel for migrants waiting for asylum.

The government hopes this will send the message to smugglers and migrants in Calais that Britain is no longer a gentle touch.

When the post office visited the camp this week, it looked uninviting and crumbling. It has rows of brick huts, has been uninhabited for years and is surrounded by wire fences. Mattresses were delivered as workers in cleaning equipment. But even a scrub doesn't make it a palace. There is no doubt that the option of a camp as opposed to a hotel could deter some migrants from traveling to the UK, and the government plans to open more camps across the country in disused barracks.

But in Kent, the locals were unimpressed this week. Many complained that the camp was the last straw. After the massive scale of illegal boat immigration, which the government described this week as an "unprecedented" episode in our national history, they say enough is enough.

David Monk, chairman of the Folkestone and Hythe District Councils, said: “We are all in the arms. The site is in the middle of nowhere. We believe the concentration of hundreds of single men doesn't make sense. We are concerned that they will move into town and form groups and there will be trouble. "

Local residents fear that the concentration of hundreds of single men does not make sense. Their concern is that they will move into town and form groups and there will be trouble

Local residents fear that the concentration of hundreds of single men does not make sense. Their concern is that they will move into town and form groups and there will be trouble

Back in Dover, the Zetland Arms is a pub on the ferry town's delightful Kingsdown Beach, where many of the boats arrive. I ask a man in his sixties walking along the coast if he has seen migrants himself.

He says he often watches them sail. But it's the camp that really annoys him. “What will hundreds of young men do day and night? It could be a disaster, ”he says. "We don't know who they really are."

His worries have a ring of truth. On Wednesday afternoon, the Dover lifeboat was called to a green inflatable boat (RIB) carrying ten migrants and located six miles from Kingsdown Beach on the Kent side of the canal.

The small craft was watched by a French Navy ship that had given its occupants bottles of water and red life jackets, even though the RIB rocked precariously in the waves four miles into British waters. That is controversial enough.

The French navy should not operate outside the waters of France or help migrants get into Britain. But what happened next was even more worrying, according to our sources. The Dover lifeboat took the ten migrants on board and floated the rubber dinghy – with an expensive Suzuki outboard motor – away because it had no towline.

Britain's first migrant camp is due to open on Monday. It will house 400 male migrants in a former military barracks a few kilometers from Dover on the coast in Folkestone

Britain's first migrant camp is due to open on Monday. It will house 400 male migrants in a former military barracks a few kilometers from Dover on the coast in Folkestone

At six o'clock the lifeboat came into port, where I saw nine South Asian men in their twenties and thirties appear to be greeted by border guards and immigration officials. However, there was another mysterious man on board. It towered above the rest and was pale skin.

He was wearing an expensive orange sports watch, a heavy gold necklace and a black gym vest and was forcibly pulled aside by an officer wearing anti-Covid plastic gloves. We later saw him rejoin the group before they were all taken for questioning at the port's migrant assessment center.

This strange man was likely a smuggler who was paid by the South Asians to drive the boat, our sources say. Before being rescued by the lifeboat, did this man plan to land on the beach and simply disappear to the UK with his migrants? That is the kind of question the fertile minds of men and women in Kent like the undoubted Sue Cook ask. And who can possibly blame them?

(tagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) Messages (t) Syria