Displaying items by tag: Border Force
After discussions around the Royal Navy working with the Home Office and UK Border Force, it will soon lead operations to limit migrant channel crossings, enabling the Home Office to focus on reforms to the asylum system. Defence select committee chair Tobias Ellwood criticised government plans as ‘rushed’ and a ‘massive distraction’ for the Navy. It is not clear either how the military or other services would be involved or how they could coordinate operations. A source said there was ‘trepidation’ within the MoD about getting involved in such a complex issue. The plans could see Boris Johnson give the Navy authority over government vessels in the channel. Yvette Cooper said we have failed to do the serious and practical work with France that is needed to stop lives being lost and criminal gangs profiting from crossings.
Cocaine worth £76 million was discovered in a shipment of bananas by officers during a routine inspection at Southampton. The class A drugs, weighing almost a ton, were placed in the cargo in Colombia and bound for Belgium. Home secretary Priti Patel said, ‘This was drug-smuggling on an industrial scale’. She is delighted that Border Force prevented such dangerous goods from reaching our streets to devastate communities, line the pockets of criminals, and ruin young lives across the country. On the same day as the cocaine discovery a gangster hit squad was jailed for dousing a rival drug dealer in petrol, setting him on fire, and leaving him to burn to death in his own flat. See
A plan to use nets to stop dinghies carrying migrants across the English Channel is being considered by the Government. Dan O'Mahoney, who leads the Home Office's efforts to tackle illegal crossings outlined the strategy to the Sunday Telegraph. ‘We definitely are very, very close to being able to implement a safe return tactic where we make an intervention safely on a migrant vessel, take migrants on board our vessel and then take them back to France. The problem with that currently is that the French won't accept them back.’ He said this was just one of a number of methods his team has considered deploying over the next few months, but he did not go into further details.
On 12 July as many as 180 migrants crossed the English Channel to the UK (see https://news.sky.com/story/number-of-migrants-crossing-english-channel-hits-new-daily-high-12027639) In six months 2,600+ people have crossed illegally into the UK, compared with 1,850 during the whole of 2019. The home secretary met her French counterpart Gerald Darmanin to push for fresh action to curb the ‘unacceptable’ daily crossings and tackle the ruthless people-smuggling gangs behind them. The two ministers will establish a joint intelligence unit based near Calais, where UK Border Force and National Crime Agency officers will work alongside their French counterparts. The new unit will consist of six British and six French police officers. Also, Miss Patel said France should start towing boatloads of illegal migrants back to its shores, saying it was not beyond the collective experience of French and UK officials to create a plan for returns at sea.
So far this year almost 500 migrants have been intercepted while crossing the Dover Straits, from coronavirus-infected Calais camps. On 8 April four boats carrying 57 migrants (23 of them Iranian) were intercepted by the Border Force in the English Channel. The previous day 63 migrants had tried to cross the Channel, despite lockdown measures remaining in place in the UK. Last week 52 Iranian, Iraqi and Afghan nationals, including five children, came ashore at Dover. All such migrants will be monitored for signs of Covid-19, the Home Office added. They go into isolation, and twenty places are reserved for those with coronavirus symptoms. Up to 3,000 migrants are living in northern France in desperate conditions, at high risk from coronavirus. Pray for the home secretary and her French counterpart as they tackle this situation, complicated by the coronavirus crisis. See
Border Force officials intercepted four flimsy dinghies carrying 52 Iranian and Iraqi men, women and children journeying from northern France to the Kent coast. The people-smuggling gangs make thousands of pounds from sending refugees across the world’s busiest shipping lane. Concerns are likely to be raised that the Home Office’s decision to deploy cutters encourages migrants to travel in the belief they will be rescued and brought to the UK. Experts believe the number of arrivals will increase in the next few months as the weather improves. All the migrants were handed over to immigration officials to be processed, fed, given medical attention and undergo security screening. Meanwhile eight men and a child suffering from hypothermia were stopped in French waters and taken back to France. See
Border Force is a new department of the Home Office, which has replaced some of the functions of the UK Border Agency. It manages UK border controls, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. We can pray for Paul Lincoln, the newly appointed director-general, that he may turn the tide of terror away from our borders. Pray for his team to work in unity with other organisations so that nothing is missed or overlooked, and for them to be aware of every hidden strategy against our safety. Pray for the teams who register all traveller services, monitor goods entering the UK, investigate immigration crime or suspicious activities at sea, and much more. May they rise up and become all that God has created them to be, so that this nation lives in peace.