Spalding police: Send homeless migrants back

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SPALDING police are calling for new powers to send homeless migrants back to their own country before problems in the town centre get worse.

SPALDING police are calling for new powers to send homeless migrants back to their own country before problems in the town centre get worse.

MP for South Holland and the Deepings John Hayes has vowed to back the force’s bid to extend a pilot scheme being run in neighbouring Peterborough and three other areas of Britain, which would allow officers to take steps to remove those who are homeless and with no means of supporting themselves.

In Spalding there are between six and eight people who are sleeping rough and persistently causing a public nuisance in the Sheep Market and Gore Lane area.

It is widely believed that, as these people have no means of supporting themselves, they are stealing to buy food and alcohol as well as intimidating shoppers in the town centre.

Sgt Stuart Brotherton, of Lincolnshire Police, said officers needed more ammunition to deal with the problem.

He said: “There are a small number of these Eastern Europeans who are making that area of town an eyesore because of their actions and we are limited in what we can do. We can arrest them if they are drinking and causing a public nuisance, but then the courts seem unable to deal with them effectively.

“I want to see a long term solution to make Spalding better and we have the backing of John Hayes, who knows of the issues we are up against and appreciates that we need the right tools to deal with them.”

Sgt Brotherton asked Mr Hayes to contact Damien Green MP, Minister for Immigration, for clarification on what his plans are for the pilot scheme, and Mr Hayes has now written to him asking for it to be extended to Spalding.

Mr Hayes said: “This issue of people coming to Britain and ending up sleeping rough has all kinds of implications in terms of the impact on the area.

“We can’t have people hanging around the town with no means of supporting themselves, no job and no home. They are sleeping rough and drinking in the street, which is intimidating for local people and causing an issue for the police.

“It has got to be dealt with and this pilot scheme would give them the powers to move these people on and, if necessary, move them out.”

Sgt Brotherton said: “We know this pilot scheme has been very successful in Peterborough where more than 20 Eastern Europeans have been removed.

“Here in Spalding we have considered every option to solve the problem but it is not readily going away and I don’t think it can be solved at this level - it needs to come from the Government.

“And I believe that if we don’t get these powers there is going to be a big problem because we will have more of these people coming here because they know we can’t do anything.

“I don’t want the problem to get even worse.”