UK illegal migrants truck

Police at the scene on the A350 where 15 illegal migrants were discovered in a lorry near Chippenham
Fifteen migrants who were found in the back of a lorry in Chippenham last night have been arrested on suspicion of entering the UK illegally.

Police were called at 8.30pm to check out an HGV which was involved in 'suspicious activity' on the A350 near the town. Officers checked the lorry and discovered the 15 people in the back, one of which was treated in Swindon Great Western Hospital.

The driver of the vehicle, an Irishman in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal entry into the country. He also remains in custody for further questioning.

Police have confirmed all of the suspected illegal migrants are men over the age of 16.

Duty Superintendent Steve Cox said: "Members of the public would have noticed a large number of emergency services in the vicinity of the A350 last night while we dealt with this incident and the road was closed for approximately four hours while we carried out enquiries at the scene and recovery was arranged for the lorry, which was a hard-sided large goods vehicle.

"We are working closely with partner agencies as we conduct further enquiries - I fully understand that recent tragic events elsewhere in the country will mean there will be increased interest and heightened concern regarding this incident.

"I'd like to thank all emergency services who responded last night - as with all incidents, we didn't know the scale of what we would potentially be dealing with and all first responders showed true professionalism at the scene.

"I would also like to extend my thanks to the vigilant member of the public who initially reported this incident to us - it is thanks to them that this incident was resolved swiftly and safely with no serious casualties."

A road closure was put in place on the A350 at the Kington Langley crossroads while the lorry was recovered.

Eyewitness Account

Robert Burton, 31, from Chippenham, was driving down the A350 when he saw the incident unfold.

"Two ambulances passed us. We saw another five or six police cars then another three or four ambulances," he said.

"We saw immigrants being pulled out of the lorry.

"One man had a jacket with the hood up. There was another man being treated.

"It was shocking. You expect it in the city. You don't expect it in a small market town."