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Home Secretary Sajid Javid is coming under increasing political pressure to get a grip on the recent surge in migrant boats crossing the English Channel.
As ever-greater numbers of people – mostly Iranian – reach our shores, the public want action to protect the integrity of our borders.
Response - Mr - Javid - Charge - Crisis
But so far the response from Mr Javid has not appeared particularly impressive. He was keen to convey that he'd taken personal charge of the crisis when he was actually 6,000 miles away on holiday in South Africa.
Moreover, despite his declaration of a 'major incident' in the Channel, he reportedly turned down an offer of assistance from the Royal Navy, which had 1,000 personnel on standby, as well as helicopters and a Type 23 frigate.
Use - Border - Force - Patrols - Problem
He then is said to have warned that the use of more Border Force patrols might actually worsen the problem – by feeding the belief that Britain provides a quasi-ferry service for migrant boats.
On his return from his safari holiday, he executed a sudden U-turn by ordering two Border Force cutters to return to home waters from the Mediterranean, where they have been helping with European anti-trafficking operations.
Police - Officer - Career - Border - Enforcement
Yet, as a former police officer who spent much of my career in border enforcement, I have to say that I feel a large degree of sympathy for the Home Secretary.
It would be profoundly unfair to heap all the blame on him for the present mess. The reality is that Sajid Javid inherited a toxic legacy when he took over the Home Office last summer because the Border Force simply does not have the capacity to do its job properly.
Waters - Force - Total - Cutters - Miles
That is glaringly obvious when it comes to our territorial waters, where the Force has a total of just five cutters to cover 7,723 miles of coastline, whereas Italy has around 600 patrol...
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