Home Office buys £12k devices to stop migrants crossing the Channel

One of 50 migrants to cross the Channel yesterday is searched by officers – as it emerged Britain has bought special equipment to tangle their dinghies’ propellers.

Men believed to be Vietnamese were videoed ditching safety aids and clothing as they ran up the shore towards Walmer in Kent.

It came a day after 49 migrants reached Britain as they took advantage of good weather in the Channel.

Described as a ‘vessel arrest entanglement boom’, the controversial equipment can be ‘deployed at speed’ to snarl a boat’s propellers and bring it to a halt in open water. 

One of 50 migrants to cross the Channel yesterday is searched by officers ¿ as it emerged Britain has bought special equipment to tangle their dinghies' propellers

One of 50 migrants to cross the Channel yesterday is searched by officers ¿ as it emerged Britain has bought special equipment to tangle their dinghies' propellers

One of 50 migrants to cross the Channel yesterday is searched by officers – as it emerged Britain has bought special equipment to tangle their dinghies’ propellers

Men believed to be Vietnamese were videoed ditching safety aids and clothing as they ran up the shore towards Walmer in Kent on Tuesday. It came a day after 49 migrants reached Britain as they took advantage of good weather in the Channel

Men believed to be Vietnamese were videoed ditching safety aids and clothing as they ran up the shore towards Walmer in Kent on Tuesday. It came a day after 49 migrants reached Britain as they took advantage of good weather in the Channel

Men believed to be Vietnamese were videoed ditching safety aids and clothing as they ran up the shore towards Walmer in Kent on Tuesday. It came a day after 49 migrants reached Britain as they took advantage of good weather in the Channel

The Home Office is spending huge sums on specialist maritime gear designed to stop dinghies and small boats crossing the Channel. 

Up to £1million is thought to have been spent by ministers in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s incredible scenes on the UK coastline. 

At least eight migrants drowned in 2020 as they made the perilous journey across the world’s busiest shipping lane, including a Kurdish-Iranian family of five who perished in October.

The number of migrants reaching British shores topped 8,400 in 2020, up from 1,850 in the whole of the year before.

Yesterday about 20 men who had crossed from France landed at Walmer and were seen being searched by immigration officers. 

Another group, including women, were intercepted at sea and brought into Dover Marina on a Border Force vessel.

Meanwhile, police rescued 18 people from the back of a refrigerated lorry at a service station on the A1M near Peterborough. 

Nobody was injured, and the stowaways will be handed over to immigration officers. 

Documents seen by the Mail indicate the tactics the Border Force is developing behind the scenes.

The Home Office is spending huge sums on specialist maritime gear designed to stop dinghies and small boats crossing the Channel. (Above, a group of suspected migrants at Dover marina, in Kent, last September)

The Home Office is spending huge sums on specialist maritime gear designed to stop dinghies and small boats crossing the Channel. (Above, a group of suspected migrants at Dover marina, in Kent, last September)

The Home Office is spending huge sums on specialist maritime gear designed to stop dinghies and small boats crossing the Channel. (Above, a group of suspected migrants at Dover marina, in Kent, last September)

One says the vessel arrest boom – which cost £12,395 – is ‘urgently required’. 

It adds: ‘The purpose… is to provide a safe way of stopping a vessel without causing harm to the occupants. 

‘The boom will be required to be deployed at speed at sea from either a RHIB [rigid-hulled inflatable boat], Border Force coastal patrol vessel or cutter and will stop the target vessel by, for example, entangling a vessel’s propellers causing them to come to a controlled stop.’ 

The contract was awarded to a specialist firm based in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Four ‘Sea Doo’ personal water craft and two other jet ski-type craft have been bought. 

One official document says they will be for ‘close quarters engagement’. 

Some £295,000 has been spent on a training contract for staff to carry out ‘unopposed boarding of a maritime vessel’.

The Home Office refused to discuss details of any of the deals.

Immigration minister Chris Philp said: ‘We will leave no stone unturned as we work to make this illegally facilitated route to the UK unviable.’

Link hienalouca.com

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