Home Secretary appoints captain of small boat


Priti Patel today appointed an Underground Channel Threat Commander – a new role leading the UK response to tackle illegal attempts to reach the UK.Along with the Home Secretary and the Immigration Compliance Minister, Dan O’Mahoney will have primary responsibility for making the Channel route unsustainable for small boat crossings.

It will work closely with the French to build on the joint work already underway, urgently exploring tougher action in France, including stricter enforcement measures and the adoption of interceptions at sea and return. direct from the boats.

Last month, a joint intelligence cell was created with France and joint investigations resulted in 11 more arrests.

Interior Minister Priti Patel said:

The number of illegal crossings by small boats is appalling. We are working to make this road unsustainable and stop the criminals who facilitate these crossings and ensure they are brought to justice.

Dan’s appointment is key to cutting this path by bringing together all operational partners in the UK and France. This is a complex issue, but across government we are working to address many of these longstanding issues.

Dan O’Mahoney said:

This role is of vital importance in the fight to end the heinous crime of human trafficking across the Channel.

I look forward to working closely with the Home Secretary and the Immigration Compliance Minister as well as law enforcement agencies in the UK and France to bring implement all available capacities to tackle this critically important problem.

Mr O’Mahoney has assumed the role since 2019 as Director of the United Kingdom’s Joint Maritime Security Center (JMSC), where he was responsible for bringing together 15 agencies involved in maritime security to provide intelligence, data and knowledge of the situation in UK waters and across the globe.

Prior to JMSC, he held senior positions in the National Crime Agency and Border Crime Command at Border Force Heathrow.

Prior to public service, Mr. O’Mahoney served in the Royal Marines, including operational deployments to Kosovo and Iraq.

He is also a director of a military charity concerned with mental health support and civilian resettlement which has raised nearly three quarters of a million pounds since 2013.


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