MP calls for new Sea Marshal force to protect British ferry passengers

British ferry passengers should be protected by a new Sea Marshal force to prevent people trafficking across the Channel, a Conservative MP has demanded. Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover, said the Royal Navy should also be deployed in the English Channel to protect the UK against migrant people-smugglers and the heightened terror threat. In a report submitted to the Home Office, Mr Elphicke called for the new patrol force to be modelled on the Royal Navy fleet Dover Patrol, which protected the Channel during the First World War. Protecting the English Channel has in recent months become the key front in the battle to protect Britain’s borders. Last month a court heard how smugglers were making up to £100,000 per journey ferrying boat loads of desperate migrants into tiny ports around UK’s porous coastline.Earlier this year 18 Albanians were rescued from a sinking inflatable boat off the Kent coast. The MP and close ally of Theresa May, told The Sun: “A century ago the Dover Patrol kept the White Cliffs of Dover and the English Channel safe in time of war. “Now we need to declare war on the cross Channel people-traffickers with a new Dover Patrol. “The Government should recall Royal Naval ships currently patrolling the borders of Mediterranean nations – who have more border control vessels than we do – to keep the English Channel safe and secure. Migrants and suspected smugglers rescued from sinking boats in English ChannelPlay! 00:57 “The Royal Marines have the unique set of skills required to do this job and we now need to see their skills deployed at home.” In May ministers announced measures to bolster maritime security, including new patrol boats for Border Force to supplement the existing five vessel fleet. While the first batch were to be in place within months, full deployment is not expected until the end of next year. The Port of Hull on the north bank of the Humber Estuary is just 20 miles from the North sea. In February 2016, eighteen migrants suspected of trying to smuggle themselves into Britain illegally were discovered in a freight vehicle. Tilbury The Port of Tilbury is London’s major port. In August 2015, one migrant died after 35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, were found inside the container at Tilbury docks in Essex. Immingham The Port of Immingham has easy access to major trade routes. In May 2016, an operation involving the UK Border Force was launched after 25 suspected illegal immigrants were discovered on a lorry in Immingham docks. Newhaven Newhaven Ferry Port is the closest port to London with Ferry links to France. In January 2016, seven migrants were found at the Port crammed inside a concealed compartment in the back of a van. Portsmouth Portsmouth International Port is Britain’s best connected port and a key destination for produce from all over the world. Earlier this month twenty-eight suspected illegal immigrants were detained after being found in the back of a refrigerated lorry. Harwich Harwich International Port is one of the UK’s leading multi-purpose ports in the country. In June 2015, sixty-eight suspected illegal immigrants were found inside four lorries at a port in Essex after a routine Border Force check. Chichester Two weeks ago a British man, who is wanted on suspicion of murder in Spain, was arrested with 17 Albanian migrants detained at Chichester marina in West Sussex after crossing the Channel in a catamaran. Orford Ness The Suffolk village port is used for its small ferry service and fishing.In October 2014, three Ukranians were stopped by Border Force officers as they attempted to bring the six Ukranians into the country illegally. Dover The Port of Dover is Europe’s busiest ferry port. On Saturday night two British men were detained on suspicion of people smuggling after two boats carrying 18 illegal Albanian migrants were picked up off the Kent coast and taken ashore to Dover. Whitstable Whitstable has a small small working harbour. In April 2016, the National Crime Agency said people smugglers were using rigid-hulled inflatable boats to get people across to "shallow beaches", including Whitstable in Kent. Royal Portbury Docks Royal Portbury Docks has the largest entrance lock into any UK port and can accommodate vessels of up to 41 meters. In early 2015, the Border Force disrupted a people trafficking gang. Purfleet Purfleet Freight Ferry Port is just 18 miles from Central London. In April 2016, the NCA's Border Policing Command deputy director Tom Dowdall said they were seeing evidence of criminals using less busy ports such as Purfleet Freight Ferry Port. Source: Telegraph

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