Suspected illegal immigrants found stowed away on coach returning to Hounsdown School in Jacob’s Gutter Lane, Totton, after trip to France
TWO suspected illegal immigrants were found in the luggage hold of a coach carrying Totton schoolchildren on a return trip from France.
Parents of year nine and 10 Hounsdown School pupils had arrived at the Jacob’s Gutter Lane site to collect their children on Saturday when the men were discovered.
The children, plus teachers, had been on a three-day trip to visit Boulogne University, about 20 miles south of Calais.
One shocked mum wrote on Facebook: “Just picked my daughter up from her school trip to France. The coach driver opened up the bottom to get the suitcases and found immigrants sat in there.”
A statement released by the school said police attended “promptly” and added: “There was no sense of threat to the school community in attendance.
“The two people found were treated with compassion by staff and parents throughout.
“Investigations into the matter rest with the Home Office, working with other agencies as required, and therefore we have no further comment to make.”
A spokesperson for Hampshire Police confirmed it had been called just before 5.15pm on Saturday to “reports that two people, who were possibly illegal immigrants, had been found at Hounsdown School”.
The spokesperson added: “Officers have attended [and] no arrests have been made.”
The Home Office refused to be drawn on whether the men had been detained, with a spokesperson simply stating: “The government works closely with law enforcement agencies to tackle illegal migration in all its forms.
“Our Illegal Migration Act will mean that people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.”