A number of arrests have been made in Eastbourne and other parts of Kent as part of a new crackdown on UK immigration crime on the south coast of England, where many illegal immigrants gain entry to the country.
According to representatives from the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU), raids took place in the early hours of 13th December in Eastbourne, Hastings, St Leonards, Folkestone, Ashford and Plymouth.
These raids resulted in eight people being held in police custody in connection with UK immigration offences, including aiding, managing and organising illegal immigration into the UK.
Those currently held include a 32-year-old man, a 40-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, all of whom were found following the police raid in Eastbourne.
According to Detective Chief Inspector Simon Steel, head of investigations at SEROCU, the arrests were the result of a long operation that aimed to tackle a “highly organised” criminal UK immigration network, which is thought to be responsible for a high volume of illegal immigration in and around Kent.
“At this moment we have eight people held at police stations across the South of England in connection with this crime,” he said. “The investigation of organised immigration crime is a priority for SEROCU and today’s activity is the culmination of many months of work.”
He continued: "Today has seen the culmination of a lengthy operation headed by SEROCU with the support of a number of partner agencies.”