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Residents told to lock doors and call 999 in official letter after 'immigrant' enters home

Sue Doyle
Aycliffe resident Sue Doyle. (SWNS)

A council told residents of a care home to lock their doors and call the police if they saw anyone 'suspicious' after a child migrant walked into a woman's home and demanded to use her phone.

Sue Doyle, 59, who lives in the village of Aycliffe, near Dover, was asked for transport to either London or Manchester after the boy, thought to be a 16-year-old Albanian, ran in through an open door on Sunday.

The boy is thought to have arrived on a small boat that landed on nearby Shakespeare Beach - a common arrival spot for those not rescued at sea

Following the incident Dover District Council sent a letter to residents at a retirement complex in Aycliffe, advising them to keep their doors locked.

The letter, sent by an 'independent living manager' to tenants of the Sunny Corner home, has since been withdrawn after it was deemed to be "poorly communicated".

It read: "I'm sure many of you are aware of the problems around the estate yesterday with immigrants trying to gain entrance to people's homes.

Read more: Up to 2% of Albanian male population has travelled to UK in small boats, official says

The village of Aycliffe with Shakespeare beach at the bottom. (Getty)
The village of Aycliffe with Shakespeare beach at the bottom. (Getty) (Andrew Aitchison via Getty Images)

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"From what I understand they wanted money, phones & possibly vehicles to get away from the area.

"This is all very unnerving, as a precaution I would advise you to keep your flat doors locked just in case this happens again.

"If you notice anyone around the scheme or grounds looking suspicious please do not approach them, make sure you are safe then call the police on 999 or pull your cord to inform Careium (security systems company)."

It also said: "If you can, please contact your local MP, this is a serious incident that put everyone in danger."

After the incident circulated some locals did begin locking their doors.

Gladys Smith, 87, said: "My neighbour told me to lock my door.

"I would not be able to cope with a situation like that."

Kerry Jones, 45, told the Times she now sleeps with a sledgehammer next to her bed after a migrant tried to enter her home through the back door in August.

“I screamed at him, he screamed at me. Neither of us could understand a word of what we were shouting. Ever since I’ve slept with a sledgehammer next to my bed.”

Soon after images of the letter circulated on social media the council withdrew it and said a replacement is being delivered to residents.

Channel crossing by migrants has become a major issue for many local residents. (PA)
Channel crossing by migrants has become a major issue for many local residents. (PA) (PA)

In a statement, they said: "We apologise for any concerns caused by this letter to residents at Sunny Corner in Dover.

"We are reassuring residents that this is a safe site with controlled door entry.

"As part of our routine duty of care to look after residents, it would be normal practice for us to keep residents informed on matters of safety.

"We accept that the original letter was poorly communicated. This was written in response to an earlier incident in Aycliffe, and not a specific incident at Sunny Corner."

The asylum seeker reportedly walked into the home of Sue Doyle, 59, and asked her for transport to either London or Manchester after the young person ran in through an open door on Sunday.

It is believed they arrived on a small boat that landed on nearby Shakespeare Beach - a common arrival spot for those not rescued at sea.

Ministry of Defence statistics show that 528 asylum seekers crossed the English Channel that day - with a total of 10 boats detected.