Suspected illegal immigrants seen hidden in truck by St Albans motorist

Herts Police swooped on the truck that was heading towards St Albans

Herts Police swooped on the truck that was heading towards St Albans - Credit: Archant

A father on a mercy dash with his ill son from St Albans late last night (Thursday) was stunned to see police surrounding a lorry carrying 14 suspected illegal immigrants.

The man, who did not want to be named, said that he had been driving to hospital at about 10pm when just beyond Smallford, near the University of Hertfordshire campus, “we passed police vehicles which had stopped a large, modern-looking articulated lorry which was heading towards St Albans”.

As the rear doors of the truck were open, he could see “what looked like a crowd of immigrants wedged into cramped space above its load.

“They were rammed into the top of the back of the truck. There was a flurry of blue lights [from the police vehicles] in the area.”

The motorist said it appeared that they had been hiding above packaging.

Another eyewitness told the Herts Advertiser that she saw “at least 10 people taken into police custody at about 10pm.”

She also said the lorry appeared to be heading towards St Albans, and had been stopped opposite the university’s sports facilities.

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The woman added: “We saw six police vehicles intercept a lorry. The police used ladders to climb into the vehicle to find the illegal immigrants hiding behind pallets of water.

“They looked confused and were smiling when being led away by officers to a waiting police van and other vehicles.”

A spokeswoman for Herts Police confirmed that the force was called shortly after 9.30 pm on Thursday (27) following reports of suspicious activity on a lorry on St Albans Road West, Hatfield.

She said: “Fourteen people who are believed to have entered the UK illegally on the lorry were taken into custody for their safety. The Home Office Immigration and Borders departments are being informed.”