Tony Eastaugh, Home Office Director for Crime & Enforcement
“We are tackling illegal migrant crossings on all fronts with every agency including Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, NCA and policing teams working in tandem with the French authorities. We have three vessels in the Channel, extra patrols on French beaches, drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment has been deployed to stop small boats leaving French shores.
“Compared to where we were even a few months ago, the cooperation we are seeing with French authorities is paying dividends. There are multiple live investigations ongoing and we look for every opportunity to gather evidence and intelligence to disrupt and bring to justice these criminals.
“One hundred people smugglers were convicted for a total of 320 years in 2019, some of which were using small boats to commit their crimes. This has been matched by 16 successful French prosecutions leading to 30 individuals convicted with sentences of up to 6 years.”