The barge will be fenced where it is docked to prevent migrants from wandering the port and will also be guarded by 24-hour security. But the migrants are free to come and go, and local councilors have been told there will be hourly bus services to take them from the port and on trips to Weymouth, and potentially other major cities such as Bournemouth.
However, those who remain outside after the voluntary 11pm curfew will be called by phone to confirm their location. Anyone who stays out for more than seven days, or 14 calendar days and nights within any six month period, will be removed from Portland.
Spencer Flower, the Conservative leader of Dorset Council, said the authority remains opposed to the plan and said the Home Office has not answered questions about the plan. And Portland Mayor Pete Roper suggested that the women living near the barge had expressed fears about their safety.
He told The Telegraph: “I have a feeling that the personal safety of women on the island is coming to the top of the list. There are a lot of rumors going around right now about the behavior of asylum seekers in hotels in other parts of the country.”
“That only seems to be a rumor. It’s hard to get concrete confirmation that this is actually happening. But now it’s becoming a big concern about the fact that it’s right around the corner in Falmouth.”