Former immigration chief claims ‘only 55 percent of Border Force in Calais’

Kevin Saunders says there’s ‘not enough staff’ in Border Force

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Kevin Saunders, who was the UK’s Chief Immigration Officer in Calais for 13-years warned how a drastic lack of staff on all of Britain’s borders, including in France, which he argued has been going on for “donkey’s years”, has sparked chaos in processing migrants who make the perilous crossing to Britain. He added how staff shortages at Dover, where migrants are being processed, have also been compounded by Coronavirus. He said how this has meant other border posts across Britain have been left vacant as officers flock to Dover to assist in the migrant crisis.

Mr Saunders said: “There are not enough staff.

“There haven’t been enough staff in Border Force for donkey’s years!”

He added: “Now I can tell you that the staff in Calais, the staff that is going out to man to controls in France from Dover every day…

“They have only got 55 percent of the staff that they need!”

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The border expert suggested the Home Office would deny his claims but he stressed his contacts on the border are telling the truth.

He stressed: “I know people down there for goodness sake, they are going out, they don’t have enough staff for the controls.”

But in a concerning admission, Mr Saunders said how the same shortages are happening all over the place across Britain’s borders.

The former immigration chief stressed this is partly due to the demands of the Border Force at Dover, who are requiring more and more people to assist processing migrants.

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He warned that enforcement staff “all over the UK will not be doing as much enforcement as they were doing previously because they are all down in Dover helping out”.

Mr Saunders noted how shortages of border staff were also exposed at Heathrow over the pandemic when air travellers were stuck for hours at the UK border trying to get home.

He warned shortages will continue to get worse as the crisis in Dover continues.

Mr Saunders’ comments come as more than than 26,747 migrants have arrived in the UK by small boats from France this year.

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That amounts to more than three times the 8,469 that landed in 2020.

27 people died trying to cross the English Channel when their inflatable dinghy sank off Calais on November 24.

It comes as crossings have continued despite the hazardous winter weather which saw the RNLI scrambled to rescue a boat that was in trouble.

UK Border Force have been approached for comment.

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