Immigration control

Tuesday, 08 December, 2009

At the end of October, the UK and French immigration ministers visited South Kent to see how police officers from the two
countries are working together to tackle organised immigration-related crime, including people smuggling and trafficking.

Phil Woolas and Eric Besson were joined
by other dignitaries, including Kent Police's Assistant Chief Constable for Specialist Operations Alan Pughsley, to visit the Joint Intelligence Unit (JIU), based at Kent Police's Bouverie House in Folkestone.

Originally established in 2001, the Anglo-
French unit is the only one of its kind in
the country and manages intelligence related to a range of issues including national security, ports and immigration. The unit was set up after 58 Chinese migrants were found suffocated in the back of an airless freight container at Dover in June 2000.

A dedicated French police officer works
with a team comprising of officers and
staff from Kent Police, the UK Border
Agency and the Department for Work and
Pensions.The team has also been expanded
to include members from the Serious
Organised Crime Agency and Police aux
Frontieres, the French equivalent of the
UK Border Agency, Detective Chief Inspector Stephen O'Keefe from the unit said: 'The work of the enhanced unit will improve the quality and quantity of intelligence related to organised immigration crime. Working in partnership with other law enforcement organisations the JIU seeks to pursue organisers
of immigration crime and those who prey on the hopes and vulnerabilities of others.The additional resources, closer
working and increased sharing of information should make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable people whilst making the lives of those who seek to gain from their misery, more difficult.'

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