Immigrants escape from Group 4

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

TWO illegal immigrants were being hunted yesterday after escaping from Group 4 security guards.

The Algerians climbed through a ceiling space after removing a panel in a detention centre to escape for the second time in 24 hours. They were being held in a secure area at Portsmouth ferry port after escaping from French authorities.

Police said they were originally deported to France and should have been handed over at Le Havre. But they jumped into the back of a camper van at the French port and the driver did not know they were inside until he saw them leap out 50 miles from Portsmouth at Fordingbridge, Hampshire.

Police arrested them and handed them over to immigration officers who were preparing to send them back to France. A Group 4 spokesman said: 'The level of security of detainees is not as high as for remand or convicted prisoners. We look after the detainees on behalf of the Home Office, but that does not mean we would necessarily know all of the background information.'