Immigration enforcement officers have raided the building site in Circus Street this morning (Tuesday 7 May) in what is reportedly an attempt to break up an Albanian trafficking ring.
Anti-immigration raid protesters clashed with police as the Home Office worked to round up suspected illegal immigrants at the old fruit and veg market site.
The community is attempting to block a large scale immigration raid at the Circus Street development (Central Brighton) and being met with police violence. 10+ arrestees. More support needed now. @AntiRaids @antiraidsBTN pic.twitter.com/UuvEoRR6ir
— Callum Cant (@CallumCant1) May 7, 2019
Members of the public have previously reported builders sleeping overnight at the site, where student housing blocks are being put up along with a dance studio, new homes, offices and shops.
Home Office enforcement officers and Sussex Police were at the site this morning just yards from the police station in John Street.
Residents said that officials had told them that an organised crime group was suspected of trafficking Albanians into the site.
Adrian Hart, the chair of the Amex Area Neighbourhood Action Forum, said: “There are police with dogs up on the top floor of the site where individuals are hiding.
“The residents of Milner Flats had reported workers sleeping on the site back in March but Henry Construction denied that this was happening.
“I feel sorry for these workers.”
The Home Office said: “Acting on intelligence, immigration enforcement officers are conducting an enforcement visit in Brighton. It would be inappropriate to comment further on an ongoing operation.
“We will provide more details in due course.”
The developer U+I said: “U+I is committed to ethical practice and our contracts with construction contractors require that they abide by employment and immigration law and that all site personnel are qualified to come on site.
“We are aware that Home Office officials have visited the site this morning and we are unable to provide any further details until their investigation is complete.”
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