Home Secretary bolsters Border Force fleet in the Channel
Sajid Javid announces further action to tackle Channel crossings.
2 Border Force cutters, currently operating abroad, are to be brought back to the UK to help patrol the Channel, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced recently (31 December 2018).
The move comes in response to growing concerns that the increase in attempts by migrants to cross the Channel in small boats over recent weeks could lead to the loss of life.
The Home Secretary announced the decision after chairing a cross-agency meeting including Border Force and National Crime Agency.
The addition of 2 further cutters significantly strengthens Border Force capability and resilience in the Channel. However, the Home Secretary stressed that the key to addressing the issue lay in close cooperation with the French and continuing work upstream to prevent migrants travelling and to disrupt organised criminals.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently (31 December 2018) said:
As Home Secretary I have a duty to protect the UK border as well as a duty to protect human life. Anyone crossing the Channel – one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – is taking a huge risk with their life. Whatever your motivations are, no one wants to see a tragedy. We have already seen children as young as 9 on these boats.
That is one of the reasons I have taken the decision to redeploy 2 Border Force vessels – known as cutters – which are currently based abroad to the UK. They will be on hand to help patrol the Channel alongside a Border Force cutter and 2 smaller coastal patrol vessels currently stationed there.
My role is also about protecting the UK border. Patrol boats have a role to play but there is no single solution to this complex issue and it requires action on many fronts. We need to continue to work closely with the National Crime Agency and French counterparts to target the organised crime gangs behind these dangerous attempts and stop boats before they leave French waters – as well as working upstream to prevent migrants making these perilous journeys in the first place.
Yesterday I spoke to my French counterpart Christophe Castaner and we agreed an advanced action plan which includes stepping up patrols and increasing surveillance. We plan to meet in the coming weeks to ensure we are doing all we can to tackle the issue.
Border Force has 5 cutters and 6 coastal patrol vessels (CPVs) and their deployment is kept under constant review. 3 Coastal Patrol Vessels and 1 cutter, HMC Vigilant, are currently deployed in the Channel. Two cutters, HMC Valiant and Protector, are in the Mediterranean. HMC Seeker is in Gibraltar while HMC Searcher remains in UK waters. The UK will continue its commitment to the FRONTEX humanitarian mission by retaining a cutter in the Mediterranean.
This year 539 migrants have attempted to travel to the UK on small boats. Of these, 434 (around 80%) made their attempts in the last three months of the year (since October 1). 227 (42%) were intercepted by the French before they made it to the UK.
Latest News from
Home Office announces repayment scheme for victims of modern slavery17/01/2019 16:20:00
A repayment scheme for potential victims of modern slavery who received asylum support.
Home Office hosts Midlands serious violence event17/01/2019 14:25:00
The Policing Minister, Nick Hurd, has today hosted the latest monthly regional serious violence event, aimed at tackling violent crime, in Birmingham.
Policing Minister chairs new taskforce to tackle vehicle theft15/01/2019 15:05:00
A new taskforce has been set up to tackle vehicle theft.
New taskforce to tackle economic crime15/01/2019 11:12:00
The Home Secretary and Chancellor will jointly chair a government taskforce which will work to tackle economic crime.
Introducing Anthony Croxford, our new COO14/01/2019 15:20:00
Blog posted by: Anthony Croxford, 11 January 2019 – Categories: Iterating HOD.
Security minister chairs UK-Japan roundtable on hosting major events10/01/2019 16:20:00
The Security Minister chaired a UK-Japan security roundtable with the Prime Minister Theresa May and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Twickenham.
New asylum accommodation contracts awarded09/01/2019 14:20:00
The Home Office has awarded New Asylum Accommodation and Support Services Contracts (AASC) following an open and fair procurement exercise.
Statement: migrant crossings08/01/2019 11:10:00
The Home Secretary Sajid Javid's yesterday gave statement to Parliament about migrant crossings.