Homeless migrants refusing to return home to Europe have flooded a city with over 15 illegal camps – including a site in the middle of a busy ROUNDABOUT.
Dozens of unemployed migrant workers have been found sleeping rough in squalid dens in woodland and beauty spots across Peterborough, Cambs.
The majority of the squatters are from Eastern Europe, who came to the UK seeking factory jobs and seasonal farm work in the area.
But many who lost their jobs following the economic downturn or the end of farming contracts have decided to stay on in the UK in bid to claim benefits and cash-in-hand work.
Groups have set up elaborate sites with tents, fires and make-shift shacks in nature reserves, parks and even squatted in someone’s garden shed.
An investigation yesterday revealed migrants sleeping in several tents on the A1139 in Peterborough, in the middle of Boongate roundabout which is passed by thousands of cars every day.
Well-trodden paths lead from a grass clearing on the east side of the roundabout to two makeshift campsites littered with debris hidden in dense undergrowth.
Dozens of empty cans and bottles of white cider are strewn along the path with bulky coats, trousers, towels, a rucksack and a belt are hanging in trees around the campsite.
Empty tents are stuffed full of blankets and sleeping bags and a few yards from the site is a pile of used tissue paper and human excrement.
Ian Treasure, 42 of Peterborough, who had a Czech Republic immigrant squatting in his shed for six months, slammed the rising number of immigrants as ”spongers”.
IT worker Ian said: ”We just don’t have the resources to deal with all of the immigrants. Many of them are alcoholics and we can’t carry the burden of Europe’s alcohol problems.
”I have seen an increase in immigrants recently, you often see them walking around in groups of ten men, all drinking cider and hanging around children’s play parks.
”The police do try to move them on and keep them out of the public eye but that just hides the scale of the problem, we need a serious political solution.”
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, added: ”It’s completely unacceptable to have unemployed foreign workers camping out in our cities, even on roundabouts.
”Free movement of people within the European Union does not mean this. Those concerned must find a job or go home, with government help if necessary.”
In April the government launched a crackdown on out-of-work migrants clearing some campsites, sending home five immigrants and issuing warnings to a further 27.
Peterborough is said to be the fastest growing ethnic community in Britain with around 16,000 migrants have moving to the area since 2004.
Immigration Minister Damian Green MP yesterday said the situation in Peterborough with migrants sleeping rough in tents was ”shocking”.
He said: ”It’s shocking that we have to see that and that is why local authorities, local volunteer groups, the UK Border Agency and central government is doing our best to stop these this happening again and deal with problems in Peterborough. It is uncomfortable to see this.
”The UK Border Agency is working with local councils and the police to tackle rough sleeping by EU nationals. Rough sleeping is often associated with problems of anti-social behaviour and is a health threat to rough sleepers themselves.”
The UK Border Agency found 63 EU nationals who were rough sleeping in April, but is believed this number has now increased.
If officers visit a tent and it is empty they leave documents in a variety of languages stating the rough sleepers must report to a police station in the next 10 days.
They have to prove they are self-sufficient and not a burden on the country to avoid being told to leave.
The pilot scheme will also provide rough sleepers with advice on how to find work and obtain privately rented accommodation and how to get home
Immigrant communities account for 64 per cent of Peterborough’s population growth attracted to the city by the promise of fruit and vegetable picking jobs in the surrounding Fen countryside.
At the housing office, 95 per cent of the people who are seen by officials do not speak English and interpreters are paid #30 an hour to be on hand to help.
Fulbridge Primary School in Peterborough has a roll of 675 pupils but 27 different languages are spoken with only 200 of the pupils having English as a first language.
Registration at a local doctors’ surgery has rocketed with more than 90 per cent of the new arrivals being from the EU.
Peterborough has an estimated population of around 163,000.