Migrant small boat crossings expected to SURGE because up to a fifth of French police are going on HOLIDAY
- Small boat crossing are expected to thrive as many French Police go on holiday
- People traffickers are likely to take advantage of the traditional holiday period
Small boat crossings by migrants are expected to surge this month as up to a fifth of French police take leave.
People traffickers are likely to take advantage of the traditional holiday period which covers all of August.
Sources said the Home Office had formally asked that gendarmes delayed their annual leave until September when newly-trained recruits enter service. The request was rebuffed by French officials.
It means organised crime gangs will be able to gamble on sending more dinghies to the northern French coast in the hope they will go undetected.
Patrols funded by UK taxpayers as part of a £478million deal signed by Rishi Sunak in November will not be affected, it is understood.
A UK Border Force source said people traffickers knew of the French police’s patterns of holiday leave and were expected to ‘take advantage of it as they have in recent years’
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But other gendarmes such as those in headquarters or in various support roles will take annual leave as normal.
A UK Border Force source said people traffickers knew of the French police’s patterns of holiday leave and were expected to ‘take advantage of it as they have in recent years’.
Last August was the busiest month for small boat arrivals during 2022, with 8,641 migrants reaching Britain – more than double the 3,683 who arrived the previous month. The number of arrivals this year is down 10 per cent on the same point in 2022 – at 14,732. In a separate development, Downing Street yesterday said final preparations were under way to house migrants on the Home Office’s first accommodation barge at Portland in Dorset.
Up to 25 migrants could arrive on the Bibby Stockholm as early as today.
However, the barge has yet to receive approval from fire brigade inspectors. The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘The Bibby Stockholm is undergoing final preparations including fire safety checks. That’s happening this week to ensure that it complies with all the appropriate regulations.’
The opening of an accommodation centre at RAF Scampton, the ex-Dambusters HQ in Lincolnshire, has been put off from this month until October.
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