Man arrested after 15 people found in back of lorry in Wiltshire

Man arrested after 15 people found in back of lorry in Wiltshire

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 5:54am 7th November 2019. (Updated at 12:36pm 7th November 2019)

The vehicle was stopped on a major route in the county last night. (6th November).

Police were called to the A350 near Chippenham after receiving a report of "suspicious activity" involving the vehicle shortly before 8.30pm.

Officers found fifteen men in the rear of the vehicle.

They were given medical checks at the scene by the ambulance service.

Fourteen were deemed fit and well and taken into custody with one taken to hospital as a precaution but was later taken into custody.

Police believe they are all aged between 16 and 30 although say their nationalities are "unclear at this stage."

ARRESTS:

All 15 men have been arrested on suspicion of entering the UK illegally. 

The driver of the vehicle, a man his 50s, from Ireland, was arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal entry into the country.

He also remains in custody for further questioning. 

The discovery was made amid heightened concern over the dangerous routes people take to get into the UK, after 39 people were found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex. 

Duty Superintendent Steve Cox said:

“Members of the public would have noticed a large number of emergency services in the vicinity of the A350 last night while we dealt with this incident and the road was closed for approximately four hours while we carried out enquiries at the scene and recovery was arranged for the lorry, which was a hard-sided large goods vehicle.

“We are working closely with partner agencies as we conduct further enquiries – I fully understand that recent tragic events elsewhere in the country will mean there will be increased interest and heightened concern regarding this incident.

DS Cox also added:

“I’d like to thank all emergency services who responded last night – as with all incidents, we didn’t know the scale of what we would potentially be dealing with and all first responders showed true professionalism at the scene.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to the vigilant member of the public who initially reported this incident to us – it is thanks to them that this incident was resolved swiftly and safely with no serious casualties."

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