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Illegal Immigrants: Drugs

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) patrol boats and (b) aircraft are available to police to combat illegal immigration and drug smuggling operations. (288544)

In 2008 there were 108 patrol boats and 33 aircraft operated by police forces in England and Wales, used for a number of operational policing tasks at the discretion of individual chief officers.

Other assets (mainly military) are made available through the Military Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) and Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP) process for specific operations. MACA/MACP covers standing arrangements for the Police Service and other civil agencies to draw on military capability in time of need. These operations would usually be led by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs or the Serious Organised Crime Agency.