Aren’t you doing enough? France is aware that policing alone will not stop dangerous crossings Immigration and asylum

Behind Boris Johnson’s proposals after the sinking of the English Channel that France did not do enough to stop small boat junctions is a more complex picture. There is a growing perception among charities and the French political class that the police, security and repression alone will not be able to resolve the issue of refugees risking their lives to enter the UK to seek asylum.

Over the past year, as the number of small boat crossings on the dangerous canals of the English Channel has increased, the number of police and patrols off the French coast has increased significantly thanks to new surveillance equipment, reservists and more than 600. police and gendarmes work 24 hours a day – more and more at night – to patrol the 40-mile-long rugged coastline. UK funding has already contributed to new technology and an increase in the number of officers. In addition, sleeping asylum seekers are transferred at night, tents and sleeping bags are confiscated and camps are dismantled.

Asylum seekers who have traveled by boat in the past 18 months have described a strong police presence on the shores, and regular attempts have been made to prevent people from launching small boats.

An Iranian refugee who traveled to Britain late last year said he tried to leave the boat three times, each stopped by French police, before his group managed to escape police attention and successfully leave on their fourth attempt. Once, police arrived at the scene because they heard passengers shouting and asking to get away after thinking about the quality of the ship they were being asked to travel to. On the second and third attempts, police arrived with flashlights and seized the boats before they could land. “The police didn’t arrest us, they just forced us to walk back from the beach back to the jungle and followed us for a while to make sure we were really leaving,” the refugee said.

An image on the front pages of some British newspapers this week that looked like a French police vehicle parked on the French coast when a migrant boat arrived at sea added to the demands of UK politicians that policing was key. A reporter on the ground said the patrol car had been circling as if trying to stop the boat from leaving after a woman and a child had stepped on its way.

France says its troops have stopped 65 percent of crossing attempts in recent months from 50 percent. French opposition politicians are increasingly looking behind security measures and calling for a review of asylum policy and the renegotiation of the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which effectively put the British border on the French side of the English Channel. French Home Secretary Gérald Darmanin suggested on Thursday that Britain should look first for bosses employing its labor market and illegal labor.

Nicolas Laroye has worked for the French Border Police on the North Coast for 12 years, in Dunkirk for 20 years and is an official of the UNSA Police Union in the field of small boats. He said: “This is a 60-kilometer coastline up to the Belgian border. Patrolling is very difficult because the beaches are lined with large sand dunes where people can hide at night and appear past patrols. The only real solution would be to put a cordon along the entire length of the coast, but of course Over the past year, resources and Franco-British co-operation have increased significantly: 4x4s, equipment such as night vision binoculars and thermal binoculars, and retired officers as reservists. and many lives have been saved – this week’s Deaths are catastrophic. “

Olivier Cahn, a professor of law and criminology at the University of Cergy in Paris who has spent 20 years researching the border issue and Franco-British police cooperation, said: “It is an illusion to think that strict control and repression of policing will solve the problem. has raised the price of smugglers for travel. “

He said a joint British-French security measure to close the Calais port and tunnel with genuine and policing “equivalent to securing a nuclear base” in response to truck crossings has forced people to try more dangerous crossings in a small boat. last years.

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