Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Tuesday, 7 October 2008 10:35 UK

Van to detain illegal immigrants

A mobile detention vehicle designed to hold illegal immigrants captured in the Midlands has been unveiled.

The vehicle, fitted out with eight cells, will patrol the region to catch and detain foreign nationals believed to be in the country illegally.

The vehicle was at the Northampton RoadChef Services on the M1 as it started a five-week trial.

UK Border Agency regional deputy director Simon Excell said the vehicle would help fight illegal immigration.

"Last year our officers based in France and Belgium searched over a million lorries and prevented 18,000 people from crossing the English Channel without permission," he said.

'No hiding place'

"This mobile detention vehicle should mean there is no hiding place for those who try to cheat their way across the border as it will be ready to detain them wherever they are found."

The mobile detention vehicle will be sent to hotspots such as service stations where stowaways have, in the past, been seen escaping from the back of lorries.

It will also be used to respond to police requests and by enforcement teams involved in large-scale illegal working operations right across the Midlands.

Illegal immigrants detained in the vehicle will be transferred to immigration removal centres.

If the trial is successful more vehicles will be rolled out across the country.

Borders policing body begins work
03 Apr 08 |  UK Politics

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