‘What About My Daughter?’ 1,000 pop. English Village Braces for 500-Man Migrant Camp

DEAL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Recently landed migrants are intercepted by the police on September 15, 2020 at Kingsdown in Deal, England. More than 6,100 migrants have made the crossing by boat this year according to an analysis by the Press Association. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Luke Dray/Getty Images

Local inhabitants of a small village in rural England have raised concerns after Home Office plans revealed that the government is considering the construction of a migrant camp outside the settlement.

Amidst record-breaking waves of illegal boat migration across the English Channel, the British government has been forced to resort to tactics which hitherto have mainly been seen on continental Europe.

According to the Daily Echo, the Home Office is planning to construct a camp of portacabins just outside the small Hampshire village of Barton Stacey on a Ministry of Defence property that would be capable of housing 500 alleged asylum seekers. The village itself is home to only 1,000 residents, and the plans have sparked deep concern amongst the local population.

The leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North likened the planned migrant camp to an “open prison”.

“An influx of 500 young men in a village with an existing population of just 1,000, would have an overwhelmingly detrimental impact. In other similar facilities this has led to an increase in anti-social behaviour and criminality,” North warned.

“There are few places I would consider less appropriate for a facility of this nature and it concerns me that this would even be considered,” he added.

Cllr North alongside local MP Caroline Nokes launched a petition, requesting that the Home Office reconsider building the camp near the village. So far, over 1,500 people have signed the petition.

One woman who signed the petition said: “I’m afraid that I will feel very nervous allowing my children (12 and 10) to walk around the village alone. This is not the right place for such a camp.”

Another said: “As a mother of a teenage daughter, placing this camp close to our village raises enormous concerns for the safety of my daughter and any other females who should have the right to feel safe in their own community.”

“In my opinion, housing 500 men close by, with little for them to do poses a significant risk to the safety and wellbeing of our small village,” she added.

So far this year, approximately 8,500 illegal migrants have landed on British shores after making the perilous journey across the English Channel in small rubber boats from France.

The housing illegal migrants in small villages and towns have been a feature of the European Migrant Crisis in countries such as Germany, Italy, and Greece, leading to increased social tensions.

In one notable example, a group of asylum seekers terrorised a local fair in the small German town of Steinfurt in 2018, fighting with local teenagers, harassing ride owners, and sexually molesting young women.

In 2016, a study entitled “Refugee Integration: Challenges for German Municipalities” found that many small towns in Germany were driven into enormous amounts of debt in order to provide food and shelter for migrants.

Tensions have already been rising in the former army barracks turned migrant camp in Folkestone, Kent, where migrants have complained about the supposed poor conditions in the facility, which used to house British soldiers.

In November, a group of migrants attempted to break down the gates surrounding the camp, demanding that they have access to the local town.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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