'Frustrated' Dover residents catch 40 migrants running around estate and hiding in bushes after Channel crossing

31 October 2022, 10:37 | Updated: 31 October 2022, 11:15

Migrants were discovered hiding outside the houses of locals in Aycliffe.
Migrants were discovered hiding outside the houses of locals in Aycliffe. Picture: LBC

By Emma Soteriou and Charlotte Lynch in Dover

"Frustrated" residents in Dover have revealed around 40 migrants were caught running around their estate and hiding in bushes after crossing the Channel.

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Nearly 1,000 migrants arrived in UK in a single day over the weekend, with 990 people reaching Dover after crossing the English Channel.

It adds to the worsening crisis, which has already seen almost 40,000 migrants arrive in the UK from France so far this year.

Residents on the Aycliffe estate in Dover experienced first-hand the consequences of the illegal crossings, after two boats-worth of migrants were discovered running around their area while waiting for a pick-up last week.

Police were at the scene but only one officer was seen trying to catch the migrants, according to locals.

Read more: 'He was laughing while doing it': Man 'drove 100 miles' to hurl bombs at Dover migrant centre then 'killed himself'

Read more: Nearly 1,000 migrants arrive in UK in single day amid claims Suella ignored advice she was detaining people unlawfully

"I counted two vans – there was one poor policewoman running up the estate trying to catch them whereas the other policemen were just in their vans from what we could see," said Sarah, who lives down Folkestone Road in Aycliffe.

"Apparently they did help apprehend a couple but they were literally running up the road."

When asked how many there were, she added: "It's varying some people said there were 30, some said 40, some said 80.

"There were two massive inflatable boats down on the beach and you could count all the life jackets which they just chucked.

"They were expecting a pick-up so whoever's organised it... I don't know why they're coming here if they're getting picked up to be taken to London and Manchester."

Folkestone Road, Aycliffe, Dover
Folkestone Road, Aycliffe, Dover. Picture: LBC
The bush a migrant hid under while awaiting pick-up.
The bush a migrant hid under while awaiting pick-up. Picture: LBC

Another resident, Nick, said he had a migrant hiding in a bush in his front garden.

"I came out, I shouted out the window 'Hey, get out of my garden,'" he said.

"He was like 'One minute.'

"I said 'No, now or I'll have to come downstairs.'

"He carried on saying 'one minute' so I went downstairs and could see he was hiding from someone in a car - I don't know who it was.

"He said 'ok, ok' and jumped over a wall... I looked up and there was another one underneath a tree."

Nick went on to say: "My initial reaction is this is what we pay our council tax for, isn't it? To live in a safe country... it felt like home invasion.

"The only thing that annoys me is that they're from Albania so I don't see why they can't get the train over or boat just like everyone else.

"Anyone can come here so why don't they just get a ticket - don't put their lives in danger and don't hide in my garden waiting for some dude to pick them up to go to Manchester."

'We're talking about the most desperate people on earth!'

Sarah also discovered migrants hiding outside her house.

"My partner looked out the window to see what was going on because someone had put on the forum about them being on the estate and they were laying down in our stinging nettles.

"I told them to get up and one of them turned and said 'one minute' so I screamed at him to get up and he ran and hid in someone else's garden… he then tried to go over our gate as well and I've got children and they were terrified about someone they don't know coming into our garden and maybe into our house."

She added: "People are frustrated because they do care about where the people are coming from but it's just the fact that they're coming over in an illegal way and we don't know who these people are.

"With that comes a lot of suspicion and fear."

Folkestone road, Aycliffe, Dover
Folkestone road, Aycliffe, Dover. Picture: LBC

It comes after a migrant processing centre at the Port of Dover was targeted in an attack over the weekend.

A man is understood to have been seen laughing before he he threw three petrol bombs at the building and took his own life.

The alleged attacker, an unknown white man in a striped top, drove up to the centre in a white SEAT sports utility vehicle, according to a Reuters photographer at the scene, before hurling the missiles.

Two people received minor injuries, police said.

They said the incident is not being treated as terror-related.