As British border authorities focus attention on migrants in Calais and other French ports, they risk missing those using new routes through Sweden. Arrests at the country’s largest port this morning highlight the issue may be growing.
In late August it was reported by The Local that Gothenburg, Sweden’s largest port, was becoming a pathway for migrants trying to reach the UK on cargo ships. Local media reported that port authorities were accustomed to finding stowaways trying to get into Sweden, but that the trend is now in the opposite direction with migrants hiding on vessels heading to the UK.
The Head of Security at the port, Thomas Fransson, told the TT News Agency (TT): “It’s a very big problem, we are not prepared for this.” He explained that most stowaways are from Albania and that they hide in cargo boxes, truck trailers and lorry wheel arches to avoid security measures at the port, adding:
“We have electric fences, video surveillance and alarm systems. Dogs are also effective. But we have more than 4,000 vehicles coming in and out of the port every day and we cannot search them all.”
In addition to the 4,000 vehicles, the issue is exacerbated by the fact the port has over 11,000 vessel calls each year. Fransson said more than 40 people had been arrested between May and mid-August, but it was unclear how many migrants had been successful in reaching the UK.
Patrik Engström, Head of Sweden’s national border police, explained why people were taking illegal routes into the UK:
“The whole of Europe has seen an increase in migration from Albania. Britain has the reputation that it’s easy to get a job and stay there, in the big cities. But the UK is not in the Schengen area, and requires visas for Albanians.”
Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reports that his morning there were further arrests in the Älvsborg roll-on/roll-off section of the port. Although police have not yet said why they were there, two foreign nationals were detained on suspicion of trespassing after a guard sounded the alarm.
Breitbart London previously reported six months delays in processing asylum applications, overloaded bureaucracy and cramped conditions leading to a growth in reports of threats and violence in Sweden’s immigrant accommodation. That violence has also spread on to the streets. The combined effect of those factors is now pushing migrants to other destinations.