The Home Office in the United Kingdom is considering the use of luxury cruise ships and holiday parks such as Butlin’s and Pontins to accommodate the ever-growing number of asylum seekers arriving on England’s southern shores, a report in The Times newspaper has revealed.
Other accommodations being considered include university dormitories.
The change in tack comes due to local councils becoming more opposed to hotels across the U.K. being block-booked by the Home Office to house those crossing the English Channel and claiming asylum.
The processing of some claims has seen a backlog of over a year, meaning those in hotels are residing in Britain for a considerable length of time while it is decided whether or not they actually have the right to be there.
Recent testimony from Home Office staff and border chiefs to the U.K. parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee revealed the total cost to the British taxpayer for hotel accommodations being block-booked for months in advance by the U.K. government is £5.6 million per day for Channel migrants; a further £1.2 million per day is being spent on accommodating Afghan nationals evacuated from the country following the Taliban’s return to power last year. That is a total figure of £2.48 billion (€2.87 billion) per year.
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Over 40,000 prospective asylum seekers have now landed in Britain via the English Channel this year alone, while a further 28,000 crossing attempts have been thwarted by French authorities.
Some local authorities have been inundated with complaints from local residents about the use of hotels in their areas being used to house migrants.
There have been reports of hotels kicking out legitimate guests halfway through their stay after signing government contracts to accommodate new arrivals to Britain.
Weddings and other special occasions booked months in advance have also been canceled by hotels taking up commercial contracts with the Home Office.
Moreover, far more sinister behavior has been reported by some staying in hotels.
Britain spending almost £7 million a day on hotels for asylum seekers
The total cost to British taxpayers is now close to exceeding £2.5 billion a year and is likely only to increase as a processing backlog grows
The Britannia Hotel in Standish has been the subject of fierce local debate in recent months, with parents of school children in the village north of Wigan telling local media they were keeping their daughters inside due to concern over the behavior of a number of asylum seekers being housed at the facility.
Some of the adult men at the hotel located near the local secondary school were accused of filming girls’ PE lessons, winking, and commenting on teenagers as they walked home from school; on one occasion, a 12-year-old was surrounded and filmed by the men.
One asylum seeker residing at the hotel was recently jailed for nine years for the rape of a drunken woman on a night out in Wigan.
In the London borough of Waltham Forest, a 30-year-old male asylum seeker was recently arrested for the rape of a 17-year-old boy, while another adult male was cuffed by police and charged with one count of sexual touching of a child under 13.
Local authorities in Kent, the English county bearing the brunt of the migration crisis, recently penned a letter to Home Secretary Suella Braverman warning her department that they are close to “breaking point” with local services too stretched to accommodate any more asylum seekers arriving in the country.