‘Hundreds of police’ on Lampedusa as Italy ratchets up surveillance amid soaring migrant landings

Police Officers arrive at Lampedusa Airport

Police Officers arrive at Lampedusa Airport amid the growing migrant arrivals

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 25/09/2023

- 09:52

Police officers arrived at Lampedusa Airport to deal with the 'growing crisis'

Hundreds of police officers have descended on Lampedusa, as the growing migrant crisis continues to take its toll on the small Italian island.

In just over four days, the number of people arriving by boat has exceeded 12,000 - double the island's average permanent population of 6,000.

Following the record-breaking number of arrivals, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has announced the creation of new identification and expulsion centres for the European country.

Meloni previously told the UN General Assembly in New York that Italy is under 'incredible pressure' to deal with the crisis.


GB News’ Home and Security Editor, Mark White, flew out to the Italian island to report on the growing crisis facing locals there.

Speaking to Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster on Breakfast, Mark shared the latest updates from Lampedusa.

White said: “This island has been in recent weeks, overwhelmed, by the number of migrants arriving from North Africa to this one of the most southerly points in Europe.

“As we arrived into Lampedusa last night, we filmed as dozens of Italian police officers arrived at the airport there to help reinforce the officers who are already here, because this island itself is a population, a permanent population of about 6000, so they would only be at any given time around about half a dozen police officers normally.

“But there are hundreds of police officers here to deal with what is a growing crisis.”

White continued: “The people of Lampedusa have enjoyed somewhat of respite in recent days, as the mistral winds have been blowing, and they've been making it a bit impassable out in the Mediterranean for these boats to make what is a 200 plus mile voyage here to Lampedusa.

“Last night we went down to an area of the harbour normally closed off, but we were able in the darkness to get right down to see some of the dozens of boats that are stored in this area of the harbour.

“We noticed as they do here, just as the Border Force do with the boats that arrive from Dover. They paint on numbers for these boats. There was one boat, 975, so that particular boat, almost 1000 have arrived this year so far, but that was just that boat. There may actually be many more than that.

Mark White reports live on GB News

Mark White reports from Lampedusa on the growing migrant influx to the island.

GB News

White concluded: "As I say, the mistral winds have given some respite, but the Islanders know that the second that the winds start to die down, the migrant boats will be back in numbers."

Many of the migrants have made the journey from Africa, fleeing the continent to the island as a key transit point to enter Europe.

Giorgia Meloni recently told state media: "The solution is not to take the Africans and bring them to Europe.

"The solution is to free Africa from certain Europeans who exploit it, and allow these people to live off what they have."

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