Dorset PCC calls for tighter border controls amid fears of “catastrophic attack”
Dorset PCC warns of possible “catastrophic attack” unless border controls are tightened
Toby Wadey / 1 hour ago / News
AN URGENT call to review the UK’s border security has been made by a Dorset police chief amid fears of a “catastrophic attack”.
Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, has written to Home Secretary Theresa May warning that the nation is “seriously exposed in maritime port security”.
Branding the current situation “unacceptable”, the retired Detective Chief Inspector claimed unless action is taken now then “the effects on this country could be massive”.
“We need an urgent review of staffing, strategy and funding, before we suffer a catastrophic attack,” he said.
“Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the Paris atrocity ringleader, came into the UK through our most secure port, Dover, unchallenged, despite being subject of a Belgian arrest warrant.
“Secondly, Border Force whistle-blowers tell us the system is failing in maritime ports, and thirdly, and most importantly, an inspection of General Aviation and General Maritime was published last Thursday, the same day I wrote to the Home Secretary.
“This inspection reveals clear gaps in capability and competence.”
Mr Underhill went onto describe the inspection’s findings as revealing a “chaotic scenario”, citing that there are only three remaining Border Force Cutters – vessels used to patrol Britain’s shores – as well as aerial surveillance capability that stops in two weeks.
He also expressed concern about “a team of maritime Border Force staff that received grading’s of ‘poor’ in 26 out of 27 areas concerning knowledge of threats and risks facing the UK”.
“The inspection also found that there was a significant gap between the information available to people arriving via sea ports versus those arriving by air,” Mr Underhill added.
“The lack of a risk assessment tool for maritime security arrivals also put the Border Force at a further disadvantage.”
Mr Underhill’s concluded the letter by warning Mrs May: “To ignore the obvious failings in the Border Force may lead to our citizens suffering an attack of such ferocity that neither your government, nor your personal career, will survive. The potential for loss of life would be, quite simply, massive and catastrophic.”
Mr Underhill’s letter comes two months after Christchurch MP Chris Chope derided the Home Office’s decision to end the UK’s maritime surveillance capability at Bournemouth Airport as “mad”.
The government has repeatedly insisted that such cuts have not increased the threat to the UK and that its security services have successfully foiled a number of terrorist attacks.
For more than three years now Patria has repeatedly demanded the strengthening of our country’s border controls to make them fit for purpose.
Our urgent calls have fallen on deaf ears. Unsurprisingly. Does anyone, including those elected to the chocolate teapot job of police and crime commissioner, really believe that the politicians who created the current chaos in Britain’s border security are competent to put things right – or even interested in doing so?
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