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Even though we are a leading provider of HGV training in Gloucestershire, we were still surprised to hear about five illegal Afghan migrants found hiding in the back of a refrigerated lorry near Churcham. Police officials suspect the men boarded the truck in Belgium rather than risk being caught among hundreds of other illegals attempting to get onto lorries in Calais.

For the better part of 18 months, we have been hearing stories of desperate migrants risking their lives to get into England by stowing away on commercial vehicles. Many have died trying such risky manoeuvres as riding into the UK clinging to trailer axles. While the Afghan migrants found in Gloucestershire did not do anything nearly that precarious, they still endangered their lives by travelling so far in a refrigerated trailer.

The Daily Mail says police used dogs to locate the migrants after the lorry was pulled over on the A40. Photographs published by the paper showed just how little space the men had to ride in on their long journey. It is not believed any of the men suffered injuries, but that has not been disclosed as of yet. They could have suffered hypothermia had they remained in the trailer long enough for their core temperature to drop significantly.

The Blame Game

As you probably know, the British government blames France for not doing enough to secure the border at Calais. France blames the UK, claiming migrants are being invited to cross illegally by the generous social benefits they can get here. Meanwhile, the HGV driver and haulage operator are caught in the middle of the political wrangling.

The bad news is that HGV drivers are ultimately responsible for everything carried into England on their vehicles. They are required to make a reasonable effort to prevent stowaways from climbing on board. If they knowingly allow illegals to enter the country by stowing away, drivers could be penalised severely.

The good news is that very few HGV drivers are prosecuted unless it can be proved they willingly knew and participated in an illegal crossing. As long as drivers take reasonable steps to secure their vehicles, they will not be held liable for illegals found stowed away. The other thing to remember is that most of the problem centres on the crossing at Calais. Plenty of drivers who pass through the area infrequently will go their entire careers without having an issue with migrants.

Train to Be an HGV Driver

Despite the problems with migrants in some locations, a career as an HGV driver is a rewarding one offering job stability and good pay. If you have been considering professional driving, we hope you will consider training with us. We offer HGV training in Gloucestershire and all across the UK, by way of more than 45 facilities staffed by expert instructors. We can have you trained and ready to look for work in a matter of weeks, not months.

Sources:

  1. Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3030328/Moment-Afghan-stowaways-caught-hiding-refrigerator-lorry-near-Gloucester.html

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