Almost nightly in the news are reports of asylum seekers trying to cross the Channel to gain domicile in England. Most try to hide inside lorries bound for Dover, and if you believe the right wing press, knowing if they succeed the chances of being deported are minimal.
Situated in Pointon Road were the Government Car and Despatch Agency (’GCDA’) and Metropolitan Police Garages.
[S]ited behind a large Royal Mail depot adjacent to Christies Fine Art Auctioneers. This organisation provided vehicles to the Government for Ministry of Defence use and also for Cabinet Ministers. It also offered secure confidential waste handling and destruction. Much of this department has now been absorbed into the Ministry of Transport.
I say ’used’ to house the GCDA as this area is now being redeveloped and soon will be home to the relocated United States Embassy from Grosvenor Square. The high security and secrecy surrounding this department naturally makes locating its current whereabouts almost impossible.
With such a high level of security the circumstances surrounding an event in September 2007 beggars belief.
The Metropolitan Police’s Counter-Terrorism Command had ordered a 7-series BMW from the German giant’s Headquarters in Munich. The adapted grey car had bullet proof windows, reinforced doors and with a price tag of £100,000 had all number of top secret modifications. The vehicle was destined to transport the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair on official business.
The container duly arrived at the Metropolitan Police Garages, again a high security depot next door to the GCDA. When they opened the container four stowaways – asylum seekers from the Indian sub-continent jumped out, having managed to gain access in northern France. The lorry and its load should have been impregnable.
A source at that time remarked:
They had a nasty surprise when they realised they were in a police yard. We had an even worse surprise when we saw how they had arrived.
The police arrested the asylum seekers and the car returned to BMW, as its security had been compromised. It probably ended up being used by a regime with a sunnier climate than England’s.