Southwark Councillors express concern over Home Office immigration enforcement action resulting in disruption to residents and businesses in Peckham

3 May 2024

Cllr Natasha Ennin, Southwark Council member for community safety said: "Yesterday's Immigration Enforcement and Home Office action in Peckham to transfer asylum seekers - and the associated protest against it - caused considerable disruption and distress to local residents and businesses. The council was not made aware of this action in advance and played no part in facilitating it. We are deeply disappointed there was no communication about these plans from the Home Office, which meant no arrangements could be put in place in advance to help mitigate the impact. It is especially concerning this lack of communication came on polling day, one of the most important features of local democracy, and one of the busiest days in the local government calendar.

"I am grateful to the Council officers who, on hearing of the events, attended the scene to support the wider emergency services response to the incident, including traffic management and to clear and clean the highways and pavements to help make the area safe for drivers and pedestrians.

Cllr Jasmine Ali, Deputy Leader and cabinet lead for Children, Education and Refugees, added: "There are serious and legitimate concerns about how people seeking asylum are treated in the UK. In Southwark, welcoming refugees from all over the world has made us the Borough we are today. We are committed to the Borough of Sanctuary principles and our councillors, officers, community and voluntary partners will continue to support our impacted sanctuary seekers in whatever way we can. That includes making sure that anyone seeking sanctuary get the right support they need. I am proud that Southwark Council supports all communities in the borough, regardless of their immigration status, all of whom deserve to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect."

Page last updated: 03 May 2024

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