Asylum seeker children were “kidnapped from Home Office hotels”, the investigation says

Investigation reveals asylum seeker children kidnapped from Home Office hotels (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Investigation reveals asylum seeker children kidnapped from Home Office hotels (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The investigation found that asylum-seeking children are abducted in dozens from Home Office hotels.

Vulnerable children – who are in the UK without their parents or guardians – are allegedly kidnapped from the streets outside a Brighton hotel, a whistleblower who works for Home Office contractor Mitie has said Observer.

According to reports, 136 children who stayed at the hotel in the last 18 months have gone missing.

some Observer the investigation found that 79 children, more than half of those missing, remain unknown.

“Children are literally taken from outside the building, they disappear and are nowhere to be found. They are picked up off the street by human traffickers,” an informant told the newspaper.

The source also claimed to have witnessed similar trafficking at another Home Office hotel in Hythe, Kent, and estimates that around 10 per cent of children go missing each week.

A source suggested the children may have been taken as far away as Manchester and Scotland.

The Home Office has reportedly been warned that children seeking asylum will be attacked by gangs.

Labor secretary Yvette Cooper said the disclosure was “truly appalling and scandalous”.

She said: “It is a complete dereliction of duty by the Home Office to fail so much to protect children’s safety or crack down on dangerous gangs, putting them at terrible risk. Ministers urgently need to introduce new security arrangements.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Local authorities have a statutory duty to protect all children, wherever they have gone missing. In the event of a missing child, they work closely with other local services, including the police, to urgently locate the child and ensure their safety.

“Ending the use of hotels for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is an absolute priority and we have robust safeguarding procedures in place to ensure all children in our care are as safe and supported as possible as we seek urgent placements with local authorities.”

Brighton and Hove City Council added: “We have been actively involved in reporting the child missing and have been working with the police and other agencies to try and find her.”

Sussex Police have been contacted for comment.

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