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Territorial Waters

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vessels of (a) the UK Border Agency and (b) the Royal Navy were on patrol in UK territorial waters on average at any one time for the purposes of the interception of (i) illegal immigration and (ii) drug smuggling in the latest period for which information is available. (288542)

The UK Border Agency operates five offshore patrol ships in UK territorial waters and adjacent seas. These ships provide operational coverage for 365 days a year. Smaller craft (Rigid Hull inflatable boats) can also be deployed from the patrol ships and are capable of operating independently.

UK Border Agency vessels work regularly in support of operations by other agencies including the Royal Navy.