A British immigration reception center in Dover (southern England) was hit by gunfire on Sunday, amid a record number of small boat crossings.
Called in late this morning, investigators were able to determine that “two to three incendiary devices were thrown at the premises” by Home Office immigration services, according to Kent Police. A minor injury was reported, according to police, who say “the suspect has been identified and located.” However, the police could not confirm the death of the suspect, who, according to press releases, would have ended his life.
A video published by the site for DailyMirror shows large flames in a location that appears to be outside the visitor center. According to local MP Natalie Elphicke (Conservative), this is where migrants disembark before being sent to a temporary accommodation centre. “We don’t know the motivations” of the suspect, who she said committed suicide, but this attack comes in a context of “significant tensions” recently. On the air of private radio LBC, she cited in particular the invasion last Sunday by migrants in a residential area, where one of them was “trapped in a woman’s bedroom”.
Secretary of State for Immigration Robert Jenrick spoke of a “serious incident in Dover” and tweeted his sympathies to “those affected”, as well as “thanks” and “admiration” to the police force who continue their “essential work to keep us safe” . The attack comes as nearly 1,000 migrants arrived on English shores on Saturday after crossing the English Channel, according to UK government figures.
Tightening immigration policy
They are now almost 40,000 since the beginning of the year – already far more than for the whole of 2021 – to have made the perilous crossing aboard small boats in one of the busiest straits in the world. . A Home Office spokesman said only that the Home Office was aware of an incident and that police were being sent to the scene, declining to comment further “at this stage”.
The government is struggling to deliver on the promise of better controls on immigration with Brexit and has the highly controversial project to send asylum seekers who arrived illegally to Rwanda. Suspended mainly due to legal appeals, the project, designed under the mandate of Boris Johnson, is backed by new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The grandson of Indian immigrants himself, he took a hard line on immigration and appointed the ultra-conservative Suella Braverman to the Home Office, a move that appears to be a move against the right wing of the Conservative Party.
“Disadvise deadly crossings”
On Friday, Rishi Sunak called for better cooperation with France during a call with President Emmanuel Macron. He stressed the “importance for both countries of making the Channel route completely inaccessible to people smugglers”, and the two leaders “committed to deepening their partnership to counter the deadly crossings of the Channel which benefit organized criminals”, according to Downing Street. two countries have already agreed that the British government will financially help the French authorities to better monitor their coasts to prevent departures.
But according to the newspaper The times, Rishi Sunak wants to go further and wants a global agreement with quantified targets for intercepted boats and British border police officers patrolling France. He also wants to set targets for 80% of asylum applications to be processed within six months against an average of 480 days, but also to tighten the conditions for granting asylum. According to the British authorities, up to 80% of these new migrants are now Albanians. The UK asylum system is completely overwhelmed by this influx.