UK Ports Border Security ‘Stretched’
UK border security weaknesses have been identified at sea ports on the east coast of England as well as in Scotland, according to the BBC.
An Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI) appointed by the UK Home secretary to monitor customs’ effectiveness has released a report on UK border security.
Its report found half of the UK’s small ports, marinas and wharfs had not been visited by the Border Force for more than a year.
Issues, such as staff shortages, were found at Harwich, Tilbury, Felixstowe, Rosyth and Immingham ports.
Too few staff were available with the know-how to use specialist scanners in certain ports. One port had lost most of its experienced scanner drivers to voluntary exit schemes designed to achieve budget reductions.
Hull Port border security processes were delayed in part due to the taking of fingerprints of illegal immigrants using wet ink.
On hearing of the report, the Home Office accepted improvements could be made.
Chief Inspector David Bolt said: "The inspection found that Border Force, given the practicalities, was generally efficient and effective in managing the fixed immigration control points at the major seaports, and in dealing on an intelligence-led basis with vehicle and freight arrivals.
"By contrast, coverage of smaller ports, harbours and marinas was poor.
"The overall sense was that Border Force was stretched, in some instances too thinly, but coping."