The Home Secretary Priti Patel is setting up a new command centre aimed at catching people smugglers ferrying migrants across the English Channel.
The high-tech centre is set to be based at a secret location in Dover, Kent, will see the British authorities collaborate with law enforcement in Calais to carry out increased air, land and sea surveillance.
The news comes as illegal entries into the United Kingdom continue to rise, yesterday 20 migrants were brought ashore in Dover after being picked up on small boats by Border Force in two separate incidents.
The command headquarters will be led by the government’s small boats commander Dan O’Mahoney who was appointed to collaborate with the French to tackle Channel crossings in August last year.
Speaking about the new centre Mr O’Mahoney said: “Significant steps were taken last year, including increased surveillance and more patrols on beaches, which have made crossing the Channel in this dangerous and unnecessary way harder than ever.
“Improved intelligence sharing has meant that the French prevented more than 6,000 attempts last year, but we know that more needs to be done.
“By setting up the new command cell we are making the UK’s and French law enforcement response more agile than it has ever been.
“It will ensure we have the right capability in the right place at the right time to stop boats from leaving French beaches and to deal with people who do make it into the water, protecting lives and bringing the criminals responsible to justice.”
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: “HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search and rescue response to an incident 23 miles south of Beachy Head.
“A report was received just after midday that a vessel with approximately 30 people on board was in difficulty. We sent Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats, and Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coastguard Rescue Teams.
“HM Coastguard is only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”
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This content was sourced from Unity News Network.