France to use UK funds for CCTV network in bid to tackle Channel migrant crossings

The cameras will cover more than ten miles of seafront on the lookout for people-smugglers, assisting migrants across the Channel.

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UK taxpayers will fund 60 CCTV cameras that are to be installed along more than ten miles of French coast in a bid to tackle migrant crossings across the Channel.

The cameras will cover more than ten miles of seafront on the lookout for people-smugglers, assisting migrants across the Channel.

A dozen will line beaches at Sangatte, 14 in Wissant, seven in Ambleteuse and five in Audresselles.

As many as 20 municipalities in the Pas-de-Calais region are said to have come forward to benefit from the funding.

More sites are set to be agreed, but UK authorities will not be able to see the images.

The 'Terminus' project is set to cost £170,000, and will be covered by the Treaty of Sandhurst, signed by the UK and France in 2018.

Natalie Elphicke, the Dover and Deal MP, said: “These CCTV cameras will only make a difference if the French authorities take action on what they see, get down on to the beaches and stop the boats entering the water".

The surveillance cameras will be active "24 hours a day, 7 days a week".

Council staff are currently travelling with the aim of working out the best locations for the cameras.

The news comes as a former director of public prosecutions has warned a controversial move to “push back” migrants crossing the English Channel would be a “courts disaster”.

It would take just one tragedy resulting from the high-risk tactic to “shame” the nation before the world, said independent crossbench peer Lord Macdonald of River Glaven.

Casting doubt on the legality of the plan to turn small boats around at sea, he also argued it was likely to be unworkable.

Lord Macdonald, who headed the Crown Prosecution Service from 2003 to 2008, made his critical comments as the House of Lords continued its detailed scrutiny of the Nationality and Borders Bill, which seeks to curb English Channel crossings and change how asylum claims are processed.

The legislation includes the power to turn away vessels carrying migrants from the UK.

It has been estimated more than 1,300 people crossed the English Channel to the UK on board small boats in January, more than six times the number who succeeded in making the hazardous trip in the same month last year.

More than 28,300 people made the crossing in 2021, triple the number for 2020.