Asylum seekers taken on shopping trips after warning that ‘bored’ migrants could spark violence

It comes after insiders reported “almost nightly fighting” between different nationalities.

Former border watchdog David Neal visited the isolated site near Braintree in December and February and described a feeling of “hopelessness caused by boredom” among residents.

Neal had warned the Government that boredom would “lead to increased criminality, including arson”. His assessment was rejected by the Home Office.


Braintree resident Marion Parker, 44 said: “What message does it send out to others who want to come here? You get free journeys into towns to shop. It’s a complete joke.

“I’m not against immigration at all. But this is a reward for breaking immigration law. Why don’t homeless Brits get free trips to shopping centres?”

David Price, who runs a campaign called Wethersfield Protest, said: “The situation has always been terrible and always will be terrible. It makes absolutely no sense to have it there. The asylum seekers have told me when I have come across them that conditions there are not suited.

“They complain it’s too cold and not good enough. The whole situation is an almighty recipe for disaster. The situation in there is terrible.”

Neal was sacked as Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration earlier this month after falling out with Home Secretary James Cleverly.

His report followed shocking stories from the site that included brawls, chairs being thrown and some suffering bad injuries.


“Wethersfield is not a detained site and asylum seekers are free to come and go. A regular transport service is in place to take residents to larger local cities.

“We continue to work across Government and with local authorities to identify a range of accommodation options to reduce the unacceptable use of hotels which cost £8million a day.”

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