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Immigration: France

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what impact the closure of the asylum camp in Calais has had on the number of attempts to enter the United Kingdom illegally through ports in Kent. [HL6157]

The area of Calais known as “the jungle” was cleared on 22 September 2009, following commitments made by both the UK and French Governments under the Evian agreement. We continue to build on cross-border joint intelligence and enforcement work in order to dismantle organised immigration crime groups. In addition to this, we work closely with our French partners to improve port security and increase the number of returns flights.

As a result of these measures, in October 2009, 569 individual attempts to enter the UK illegally via the juxtaposed controls were detected, compared to 1,170 over the same period in 2008, a reduction of over 50 per cent.* In addition, the number of illegal entrants discovered in the UK, suspected of having entered through ports in Kent, has decreased from 204 in October 2008 to 132 in October 2009, a reduction of 36 per cent.

* Statistics have been sourced from locally collated management information held within locally accessed computer systems and do not represent national statistics. They have not been the subject of national statistics protocols and verification and should therefore be treated as provisional and subject to change.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the role and expectations of the Joint Intelligence Unit formed with the French authorities to counter unauthorised entry from France to the United Kingdom. [HL6158]

The Joint Intelligence Unit [JIU] is an intelligence-sharing forum incorporating the UK Border Agency, Kent Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the Department of Work and Pensions, Police Aux Frontières and L'Office Central pour la Répression de l’Immigration irrégulière et de l'emploi d'Étrangers Sans Titre (the French anti-trafficking unit). Its role is to build intelligence on both sides of the Channel, to target and dismantle organised immigration crime groups.

The JIU acts as a conduit for information and intelligence from the constituent investigating authorities and develops intelligence products to drive and support action against organised immigration crime. This will result in a stronger border, increased prosecution of facilitators, and improved co-operation between cross-border agencies.