France and the United Kingdom join forces to fight against illegally facilitated canal crossings

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British Interior Minister Priti Patel met with the new French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Sunday to discuss joint measures that could be taken by the two countries to tackle illegal Channel crossings by small boats.During the meeting, which was the first with an international counterpart of the new French Minister of the Interior, an agreement was reached on the creation of an intelligence unit to suppress gangs facilitating illegal crossings and trafficking in persons.

The two officials reiterated their determination to stop the level crossings and bring the ruthless criminal gangs behind them to justice and reaffirmed their shared commitment to return boats to the English Channel in France, instead of allowing them to reach the Kingdom -United.

“I have been in France today to see firsthand the important work undertaken on this side of the Channel to deal with the unacceptably high levels of small boats, alongside the efforts of the Border Force and the National Crime Agency UK”, Interior Minister Priti Patel delivered a speech

She also pointed out that despite all measures taken by law enforcement so far, the number of people crossing the canal illegally continues to increase – listing the interception of boats, the arrests, the return of people in France and the imprisonment of responsible criminals, as some of the main measures taken.

“Today, I signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence unit that will crack down on the gangs behind this vile human trafficking operation and I made my French counterpart understand the need to stop these crossings illegal for the benefit of our two countries, ” Patel also said, saying it was just the start of a new operational approach with the new French interior minister.

Patel and Darmanin signed a declaration of intent on the creation of the Franco-British operational research unit which will collect, centralize and analyze operational information to prevent level crossings and dismantle the gangs behind them.

The unit will be made up of French and British officers, who will work to put an end to the illegally facilitated passages.

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