Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Nursing home raid saw 13 immigration suspects detained

A total of 13 suspected illegal immigrants were detained in a raid at a private Hampshire nursing home, the UK Border Agency has revealed.

It was originally understood 11 were held when police targeted Linford Park Nursing Home in Ringwood on Thursday after concerns over a resident's care.

Three staff members held on suspicion of neglect were bailed until 14 October. A fourth was arrested earlier.

Two detainees are on immigration bail, the remaining 11 are in detention.

Residents' welfare

A spokesman for the UK Border Agency said: "On 29 July UK Border Agency officers, supported by Hampshire [County Council] adult services, conducted an operation at Linford Park Nursing Home, Poulner, Ringwood.

"The operation was intelligence-led and targeted immigration offenders working illegally at the home.

"Thirteen people were found working illegally."

The spokesman said the 11 who remained in detention were "eight females from Ghana, Malawi, and the Philippines and three males from Ghana and the Philippines".

Three staff members, a 62-year-old man from Christchurch, a 61-year-old woman from London and a 78-year-old man from London, were arrested on Thursday.

The fourth person, a 47-year-old man from Ringwood, was arrested on Friday.

A police spokeswoman said: "It is believed that those arrested are responsible for the management of the care home or for the care of the residents."

The owner of the home was unavailable for comment when the BBC contacted the home.

Earlier, Councillor Felicity Hindson, Hampshire's executive member for adult social care, said: "The care and wellbeing of the frail residents at the home near Ringwood is paramount.

"We have had to move a number of the most vulnerable and frail elderly people to alternative care."

A spokeswoman for the Care Quality Commission told BBC News: "We are happy that the residents who remain in the home are safe because social services are ensuring their safety and wellbeing.

"We do not plan to take any immediate action but will monitor the situation very closely for the next few days."

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