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UK Border Force begins patrols of French beaches along with local officers

UK Border Force officers for the first time have begun patrolling French beaches along with French authorities.

The first joint patrol took place just before Christmas after months of negotiations between UK and French authorities.

The UK officers taking part in the French patrols are “observers” only, meaning they will have no rights to exercise powers such as arresting someone for a criminal act.

The collaboration aims to give UK Border Force better real-time intelligence of people-smuggling activity, tactics, and migrant movements.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Our work with the French is vital to tackling the unacceptable rise in dangerous Channel crossings and we are committed to building on our close co-operation to date.

“The new agreement will significantly increase the number of French gendarmes patrolling the beaches in northern France and ensure UK and French officers are working hand in hand to stop people smugglers.”

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