Eight Brits Manage To ‘Smuggle’ Themselves Into UK For TV Experiment
A new Channel 4 programme has seen a group of Brits attempt to 'smuggle' themselves into the UK as part of a social experiment, using a variety of approaches 'from boats to lorries, ferries to car boots' - with all of them managing to make it through.
Channel 4 said it commissioned the two-part series, Smuggled, to explore public concern surrounding illegal immigration.
A Channel Four spokesman said: "From boats to lorries, ferries to car boots, all of the contributors attempt routes that have been used by those seeking to enter the country clandestinely or by people traffickers and drug dealers."
Those taking part had to try and smuggled themselves back into the country from several locations around continental Europe.
Carolynne, a 62-year-old retired nurse from Berkshire, competed with her husband David. She hid without her passport in their hired motor-home as David drove from France to the UK - not revealing that there was a stowaway on board at any point.
Carolynne said after: "I want this country to be as safe as possible. As a grandmother of four, I want to be sure everyone coming here is known.
"I want to be reassured that our borders are safe.
"In fact, I found it was disconcertingly easy to get through with only the most cursory of checks.
"I wanted to be found. I wanted to discover that immigration officials were doing their job.
"I'd have been proud to spend some time in detention if it proved our borders were being policed.
"I felt relieved because I was anxious about being caught but angry at how simple it all was."
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Khurram, a journalist from Yorkshire, was trying to make it to the UK from Holland. He used his friend's passport, despite not looking anything like them in the photo - and the fact that the borrowed document was biometric.
But he also managed to get through without a hitch, having been waved through at Amsterdam and Newcastle so that he could be on his way.
A screening of the first episode was postponed last week after the bodies of 39 people were found inside a lorry on an industrial estate in Grays.
However, in spite of the week-long delay, the Home Office criticised Channel 4 for being 'insensitive and irresponsible' for broadcasting the programme so soon after the incident in Essex.
The Home Office said: "Broadcasting this programme so soon after the tragic incident at Grays is both insensitive and irresponsible.
"Organised crime gangs have no respect for human life so it is reckless to provide a platform for the illegal activity that they facilitate. Doing so simply encourages them to exploit our border for profit, risking the lives of vulnerable, desperate people as they do so."
David Modell, the executive producer of the series, told the Guardian that the tragic incident in Essex had forced the team to reflect on the programme, but said it was never going to be pulled indefinitely.
"It was absolutely a collective decisions and one that everybody felt very comfortable with," he said.
"We all felt we want it to go out with in proximity to the tragedy because it does something helpful."
In response to the programme, the Home Office also said: "The Border Force is intelligence-led and targeted at criminals who seek to break the law.
"All the individuals in this programme were British passport-holders.
"When there is reason to suspect criminality, we carry out rigorous checks, as evidenced by the 50,000 detections and refusals at borders last year."
Smuggled begins on Monday at 9pm on Channel 4.
Featured Image Credit: Channel 4