Police miss golden opportunity to catch suspected people smugglers

David Metcalfe, Commodore of Lower Halstow Yacht Club, has confirmed that the burned out red boat which seriously damaged their jetty was the coaching launch stolen earlier in the day from Medway Towns Rowing Club. Here is his account of what happened yesterday:

Sadly yesterday evening around 17.00 one of our committee members was alerted to our jetty being on fire. The blaze was attacked with buckets of water and finally extinguished with the club’s long hose pipe. A red dinghy was found to be the cause resting on the lower landing stage. The fire brigade attended with 3 appliances and pulled the remains of the boat off and placed it alongside the slip.

Separately, the Gransden family reported intruders, possible illegal immigrants on their sailing smack, Thistle, off Shoregate Wharf. It was also reported that a red dinghy/rib was alongside Thistle. The Coast Guard attended, but with no enforcement powers and the tide out were unable to do anything. Kent Police decided it didn’t require an attendance.

Had Kent Police shown an interest in the possible illegal immigrants and intercepted them as the tide came in, that issue could have been resolved and MTRC’s stolen launch could have been recovered.

Instead, due to Kent Police’s ineffectual response, the launch was driven to our jetty and set alight, completely destroying the launch and causing serious damage to our jetty.

3 thoughts on “Police miss golden opportunity to catch suspected people smugglers

  1. The ordinary but stout-hearted ‘Man on the Clapham Omnibus’ is outraged, steam erupts from his ears, at the apparent numb-skull attitude of the Kent Police. Have they – our warrant-carrying custodians NEVER HEARD of Operation Kraken run by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Border Force –
    “Help us to PROTECT YOU, Heard or seen anything UNUSUAL in or around the coastline, Ports and waterways? REPORT IT. “Call your local Police on 101 or Contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 Quote Kraken”
    See NCA and Border Force website
    John Bull is fuming and is on his way now to kick the Chief Constable where he will feel it keenly!

    Bahhh Pooba Bahhh!!!!!!!!

  2. Whimbrel and her crew were ‘shadowed’ and we were asked what we were doing, where we’d come from and where were we going twice this last summer around the Medway – last time we’d just left Stangate after spending night in Sharfleet.

    Christobel wanted to shout, ‘…you really think our boat is big enough for people smuggling…’ she gets like that with officialdom.

    I’m not sure what they’re about too – suppose now the sun is up for less hours means there isn’t enough time between tea breaks…

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