Cross Border CrimeMigrationNewsOrganised CrimeSmuggling

UK Launches New Border Security Command

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has set out the first steps to establishing a new UK Border Security Command (BSC).

This is intended to strengthen Britain’s border security and smash the criminal smuggling gangs making millions out of small boat crossings.

Reporting directly to the Home Secretary, the Border Security Commander will provide strategic direction to work across agencies, drawing together the work of the National Crime Agency (NCA), intelligence agencies, police, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force, to better protect our borders and go after the smuggling gangs facilitating small boat crossings.

Following the Home Secretary’s instruction, a core team in the Home Office is establishing the remit, governance and strategic direction of the new command. Early legislation is being prepared to introduce new counter terror style powers and stronger measures to tackle organised immigration crime.

Yvette Cooper has also commissioned a bespoke investigation from the department and the NCA into the latest routes, methods and tactics used by people smuggling gangs across Europe to inform a major law enforcement drive over the coming months.

The BSC will draw on substantial additional resources, with work to bring in more investigators, experts and analysts to tackle organised immigration crime starting on Monday. A significant number of these will be based across Europe, working with Europol and European police forces to disrupt the activity of the criminal smuggling gangs and ensure those profiting from people smuggling are brought to justice.

In a call to the Director General of the NCA, Graeme Biggar, the Home Secretary stressed the need to break the business model of the criminal smuggling gangs, going after their ability to communicate, move people across Europe and their profit.

The Home Secretary will have further calls this week with European interior ministers and with the Director General of Europol to discuss strengthening security cooperation.