CALAIS is to be patrolled by British police officers after an agreement was signed by Home Secretary Teresa May and her French counterpart.
The minister was in Calais on Thursday (August 20) to discuss plans with French interior minister Bernard Cazenueve for a joint ‘control and command centre’ at the port, which will see British police posted there alongside immigration officers from the UK Border Force.
May has also announced talks with Belgian and Dutch authorities, with an aim of addressing the possible displacement of potential migrants from the camp at Calais to other ports as security there is increased. There are believed to be around 3,000 people currently living at the makeshift town known as ‘the Jungle’ in Calais.
The joint French-British security operation will be led by two senior commanders, one from each country, and aims to effectively share intelligence to disrupt people trafficking networks, said the Home Office.
“This is not just a problem that starts here in Calais,” May said at a press conference held at the mouth of the Eurotunnel. “It’s a problem that starts elsewhere in the world with migrants trying to come abroad with organised criminal gangs.”
The measures also include increased investment from the UK, including further fencing, CCTV, floodlighting, and increased security personnel within the tunnel.
The cost of the stepped up security is yet to be confirmed, but there are reports in the British press that the UK government has committed £22 million to the project.