Updated 30th Jan @19:10
Obviously, those who perpetrated the fire at Napier Barracks, Folkestone endangered the lives of those on the site at the time, which is unacceptable. Nobody, regardles of circumstance has the right to take the law into their own hands. That is so obvious as to be trite, but for the avoidance of doubt, that is our starting point.
Kent fire and rescue service said eight fire engines had been sent to the barracks to deal with the blaze.
The fire which began at Napier Barracks yesterday, is now under investigation as a potential arson. If any perpetrator/s is/are identified then the full force of the law must be brought to bear on any individual/s.
As of the 21st Jan 2021, there were 381 asylum seekers accommodated at Napier Barracks. Two days later it was announced in the press that recently 120 of them tested positive for Covid, with more test results pending. This means 31.5% of all asylum seekers were Covid positive prior to fire.
A number of asylum seekers testing positive for Covid-19 were “removed” and put into isolation.
It was claimed that some were moved out of the barracks in Folkestone at short notice over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th Jan.
Chris Philp MP – Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
Said those we are accommodating [at the Barracks] are not detained and are free to come and go, in a response to a question by Aspana Begum MP on the 21st Jan.
However, those inside said the gates had been locked since the beginning of lockdown 3 which begun on Dec 2nd.
So, how did Covid get into the camp knowing the gates were locked after Dec 2nd to prevent occupants roaming the local community?
A Public Health England report which has been suppressed answers that question. From what little we have seen of the report it is damning of both the Home Office and the contractor Clearsprings Ready Homes Ltd, regarding the Covid situation which occured on the site, in recent weeks.
On the 25th Jan 2021, The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) begun an inspection of the use of hotels and barracks as contingency asylum accommodation and invited anyone with relevant knowledge or experience to submit their evidence to – firstname.lastname@example.org
The call for evidence will remain open for four weeks (until 19 February 2021).
As we understand a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on migrants’ human rights has been made and an investigation opened.
It would appear there may well have been sustained Human Rights violations of those placed at Napier Barracks.
That aside, this gives nobody the right to set a fire and endanger life. Those found to have been involved in the incident could have it used against them by the Home Office in their asylum applications.
Our local MP, Damian Collins says there can be ‘no excuse‘ for the actions of those behind the disorder at Napier Barracks.
As we know, The Home Secretary (pictured above right) has strongly condemned the unrest at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, and Kent Police have launched a probe after the disturbance, which reportedly broke out when migrants were told they would no longer be transferred to hotels following a Covid outbreak.
Ever since our public face announced the Barracks were to be used as accommodation for Asylum Seekers in Sept 2020, there has been a lot of anger by local residents and by those placed into the camp. Allegations that living conditions at Napier, were/are extremely poor have been reported by many media outlets.
An unnamed migrant inside the camp, at the time of the fire, explained:
‘As you know some people were transferred from the barracks this week and we received a letter today that those who remain in the camp have to isolate themselves within their bubble for 10 days before it will be decided if they’re going to be transferred.”
They went onto say
“it was predictable that something was going to happen soon.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Pritchard of Kent Police said:
‘Whilst the exact nature of the disturbance and any potential links to the fire are still being investigated, it would be inaccurate to refer to the disturbance as a riot and it is not being treated as such. There have been no arrests but inquiries are ongoing.’
Finally, we understand that far right groups are already aware of the hotels where the Covid positive asylum seekers are staying, so once again placing them in danger.
Update @12:56 pm today Kent Police announced “Five men have been arrested following a disturbance at Napier Barracks in Folkestone.”
The Shepway Vox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime