It has been well publicised that there has been a major problem with illegal immigration in the UK for many years. In 2019 problems that border control services had hoped to somewhat contain or at least gain a little more control over seemingly slipped through the hands of the government. With France and the UK in deep and heated debates about border control as the clock wound down on the UK leaving the EU after triggering Article 51, the following events would give the nation a stark reminder of how important it is to protect our borders and the people that may be attempting to cross them. Women... men... and children all bought into the idea that a journey over thousands of miles involving relentless travel, minimal food and water and a lack of medical provision was a journey which promised many a life that would enhance the ones they are currently living.
Many people subsequently went on to embark on this journey from Vietnam, crossing many countries to its final destination which would be the UK. On 23rd October 2019 39 people were illegally smuggled into the UK in a container lorry. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the number of successfully smuggled Vietnamese nationals tragically was zero, as upon opening the container all 39 were dead.
UK law enforcement agencies would later go onto make 7 arrests in relation to these deaths, with charges ranging from 39 counts of manslaughter, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property. The 7 men were later sentenced to 92 years total between them, or an average of 13yrs each for their actions and looking at it, on that basis, seems like a somewhat lengthy sentence. However, if we dissect the numbers further the Old Bailey judged everyone of those 39 lives lost to be worth a mere 2yrs and 4 months. Is that really justice? I doubt it, and have serious reservations, as to whether the families of the dead would agree. Was the punishment befitting the crime???
Do you think that there should be reform and changes in the law to compensate for crimes with severity levels that surpass what may be classed as institutionalised normality?
Or do you think the punishment was fitting to the crime?? And is 92yrs enough to make a difference and show real intolerance to the actions of the smugglers???
However, before you go ahead and decide take a minute and remember the 39 men, women and children and think about the hopes and dreams they had before they lost their lives.
Written By: Ben Landy