Two arrested after migrants found in back of lorry at ferry port

Two men have been arrested after migrants were found in the back of a lorry at Newhaven ferry port and taken to hospital.

Both the men are in custody, with one detained on suspicion of people smuggling and the other suspected of entering the UK illegally, Sussex Police said.

The discovery at the East Sussex port on Friday morning sparked a major emergency services response, with ambulances, police and Border Force in attendance.

Police said six people were taken to hospital. But no fatalities have been reported at this stage, the PA news agency understands.

The port remains open and ferry services are running as usual.

Martin Sinnock, 70, whose home overlooks the entrance to Newhaven Harbour, said he saw “a lot of activity” and a “large” emergency services presence including a helicopter landing on the quayside shortly after the ferry arrived, telling PA he was “deeply sad” to hear migrants were inside the vehicle.

Newhaven ferry port incident
The discovery sparked a major emergency services response on Friday (Martin Sinnock/PA)

Sussex Police said: “We are currently supporting Border Force, who are the lead agency, and other emergency services after a number of people were found on a lorry on a boat in Newhaven Port.

“A man has been arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry to the UK, and a second man has been arrested for illegally entering the UK.

“The ambulance service has taken six further people to hospital for treatment.”

A force spokesman also confirmed the boat in question was a ferry.

South East Coast Ambulance Service said it was called to the incident at 9.40am.

The Home Office confirmed Border Force was involved in the response but said that while the incident was ongoing “it would be inappropriate to comment further”.

Earlier Lewes MP Maria Caulfield, whose constituency includes Newhaven, said in a post on X: “Very concerned about these reports.

“From my office in Newhaven we can see lots of activity opposite at the port and thanks to the emergency services responding.”

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