After revealing British taxpayers will fund a £2m wall at Calais to keep illegal immigrants out… now we will pay £80m to private security firms to guard FRENCH ports
- The Home Office is advertising for firms to beef up security at Calais, Dunkirk and the Eurotunnel terminal to stem flow of illegal immigrants
- Deal has potential value of £80m over three years, 10 times the 2011 value
- Less than a fortnight ago plans for a 13ft high wall at Calais were revealed
Britain is to pay private security companies up to £80million to police ports in northern France.
The Home Office is advertising for firms to beef up security at Calais, Dunkirk and the Eurotunnel terminal, to stem the flow of illegal migrants.
Under the contract, private guards will carry out round-the-clock searches on UK-bound lorries, and act as temporary ‘custody officers’ for migrants caught trying to reach Britain illegally.
New images of the Jungle refugee camp have revealed the scale of the Calais migrant crisis as Britain prepares to build a 13ft wall to stop migrants jumping on to UK-bound trucks
The deal has a potential value of up to £80million over three years – ten times the amount the contract was worth when it last came up for tender in 2011.
It comes less than a fortnight after it emerged British taxpayers are to fund a £2million wall at Calais to help keep illegal migrants out. The 13ft-high ‘Great Wall of Calais’ was branded a ‘scandalous waste of taxpayers’ cash’.
Latest figures reveal the number of migrants at the so-called Calais Jungle has topped 10,000 for the first time.
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, last night urged French authorities to do more to bring the situation under control.
He said: ‘It is essential we have maximum border security at Calais to protect tourists and truckers, but the priority must be to make sure the Jungle is dismantled – we have to tackle the causes of the crisis. Obviously there is an arrangement where we assist with security at Calais, but the French should also be contributing.
‘We need more security at Dover too to stop guns, weapons and people being smuggled, but we don’t get a contribution from France for that.’
Now it has been revealed that Britain will also pay £80million over three years for a security deal to keep illegal immigrants out
Tory MP Peter Bone said: ‘I don’t know why the French government thinks the British taxpayer should be bailing them out to do something that is their responsibility.
‘They should be embarrassed and ashamed. Just imagine if it were the other way round, and the French government were paying us the equivalent of £80million a year because we could not control the border at Dover. The Prime Minister would have to resign the next day.’ Fellow Conservative MP Philip Davies said: ‘It really isn’t good enough for France to be incapable of providing security in their own country and for British taxpayers to be footing the bill for them.
‘I wonder how much French taxpayers are paying the UK for having to clear up their mess when illegal immigrants get into the UK. Not a fat lot, I suspect.’
The Home Office contract says the successful bidder will have to provide ‘40 authorised search officers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year’ at the Eurotunnel site and at Calais and Dunkirk.
Three of the staff must be trained as ‘detainee custody officers’, who will have responsibility for arrested migrants until French police can take over. The contractor will also provide electronic search equipment and sniffer dogs.
The Home Office contract says the successful bidder will have to provide ‘40 authorised search officers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year’
A Home Office spokesman said the contract expanded existing routine work done by private security staff. Pictured: Amber Rudd has had to defend plans in Parliament
The Home Office last night played down the move. A source acknowledged ministers were looking for an ‘expanded level of service’ after 84,000 migrants were caught trying to enter the UK illegally at the ports last year.
But he said the £80million figures was the ‘maximum possible value’, with the final bill likely to be ‘significantly less’.
A Home Office spokesman said the contract expanded existing routine work done by private security staff. ‘Specialist search contractors have successfully played a vital role in protecting our borders for over a decade,’ he said. ‘They perform initial checks allowing our Border Force officers to focus on the highly skilled work they are trained to do.’
Calais and the Channel Tunnel are key destinations for thousands of the more than one million migrants and refugees who illegally entered Europe last year from Turkey and North Africa.
Last month, holidaymakers were warned to avoid Calais after motorists were targeted by gangs with chainsaws and metal bars.
The latest census by Help Refugees found 10,188 are living in the Jungle camp, a 12 per cent increase on last month. Some 1,179 are children – 1,022 of whom are unaccompanied.
Charity workers yesterday called on the Government to do more to help child migrants after a Afghan boy of 15 became the youngest to die near the camp while attempting to reach Britain.
He was entitled to come to the country as he already had an older brother living here, but was killed while climbing on top of a lorry over the weekend after becoming frustrated with delays.
French authorities have pledged the slum will be totally torn down ‘by the end of the year’.
- Up to 4,000 migrants fled one of Greece’s main camps on Lesbos last night after apparently setting fire to it, police said. A source told AFP that some 150 children were evacuated.
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