Police Inspect Barge Accommodation for Migrants in Portland, Dorset

Police Inspect Barge Accommodation for Migrants in Portland, Dorset

Safety Checks on Bibby Stockholm

On Tuesday, police officers were observed boarding the 222-cabin vessel, Bibby Stockholm, in Portland, Dorset, as part of safety checks and inspections currently underway.

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The barge is intended to be used as accommodation for asylum seekers.

Prime Minister’s statement emphasized the necessity for all migrant accommodations to undergo rigorous checks to ensure compliance with regulations.

Concerns of a “Floating Grenfell”

Recent reports have raised concerns that the barge could pose fire safety risks, leading to comparisons with the tragic Grenfell Tower incident. Around 40 individuals residing in other Home Office accommodations have been notified of their relocation to the barge.

Transport Minister Richard Holden acknowledged that the vessel is undergoing final checks but refrained from providing a definite timeframe for its readiness.

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Controversial Decision and Opposition

Over 50 organizations and campaigners have criticized the plan to house asylum seekers on the barge, deeming it “inhumane” and potentially harmful to vulnerable individuals.

However, Chancellor Rishi Sunak defended the decision, highlighting the need for fairness and an end to British taxpayers funding hotels for illegal migrants.

Record Number of Migrants Crossing the Channel

Recent figures have revealed a surge in the average number of migrants crossing the English Channel by boat.

In July, 3,299 people made the perilous journey in 63 boats, resulting in an average of approximately 52 migrants per vessel, the highest since records began in 2018.

The total number of migrants arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel so far this year has reached 14,732, with recent disruptions due to adverse weather conditions.

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Delayed Plans for RAF Camp

Meanwhile, plans to accommodate 2,000 migrants in an RAF camp have reportedly faced delays, pushing the timeline for their relocation to October.

The setback is attributed to difficulties in conducting surveys on the designated 14 buildings intended for migrant housing.

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