After an inspection report revealed Border Force staff shortages at British seaports, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey has called on the Government to recruit more officers to secure our borders.
 
The report by David Bolt, the Government’s Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, details concerns among Border Force officers that the agency is “resourced to fail” and that, due to staff shortages, “the border is not secured by any stretch of the imagination”.
 
Home Office accounts show that funding for the Border Force has been cut by 8% in real terms since 2015 and the number of officers has been reduced by 7%, from 8,332 to 7,734.
 
Responding to the report, Ed Davey said:
 
“The Border Force doesn’t have the officers it needs to cope with the pressures it faces now, let alone the extra pressures it will face if we leave the EU.
 
“Despite all their tough talk on immigration, Tory cuts have left our borders less secure, allowing organised criminals to traffic people, weapons and illegal drugs into the UK.
 
“The Liberal Democrats demand better. We will recruit more officers to an accountable, intelligence-led Border Force. That will help to secure our borders, rebuild trust in the immigration system and make our communities safer.”
 
Notes
 
The Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration’s report An inspection of Border Force operations at south coast seaports is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/an-inspection-of-border-force-operations-at-south-coast-seaports
 
Home Office annual reports and accounts are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts
 
Border Force spending:
 

 

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

 

Change
(2014-15 to
2017-18)

Resource DEL

£507.9m

£519.0m

£576.7m

£482.8m

£500.6m

 

GDP deflator

94.04

95.25

96.01

98.14

100

 

Real terms
(2017-18 prices)

£540.1m

£544.9m

£600.6m

£491.9m

£500.6m

 

-8.1%

 
(GDP deflators are from the Treasury’s latest GDP deflators at market prices, and money GDP October 2018, published on 1 November 2018:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gdp-deflators-at-market-prices-and-money-gdp-october-2018-budget-2018)

 

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