Tackling illegal immigration: UK pledges £12m to help France

Sarah Spickernell
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The money will be spread across a range of preventative measures (Source: Getty)

The UK government has pledged £12m to France to help it stop illegal immigrants making their way from Calais to Britain.

An agreement between home secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve will result in the two countries working more closely together to reduce the scale of the problem.

Part of that is a the significant donation from the UK to France - the money will be spread between a number of preventative measures, such as bolstering security at the French port and introducing enhanced technologies for detecting migrants hiding in large vehicles.

Law enforcement agencies in both France and Britain will target organised crime gangs responsible for trafficking and smuggling across the border, according to immigration minister James Brokenshire

Fleeing crises

The number of immigrants living illegally in Calais is thought to have increased by 50 per cent over the past year, with a growing number of people fleeing humanitarian crises in the Middle East and east Africa.

An estimated 1,500 are now based at the French port town, with many camping or living in squats.

May and Cazeneuve said in a joint statement that they would would "ensure that all measures taken will deter illegal migrants from congregating in and around Calais."

They also promised to "respond to health emergencies and protect vulnerable people”, including victims of human trafficking.

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