Britain and France Create Joint Calais Command Center to Stop Channel Migrants

British and French police are to work with border authorities at a newly announced "command and control center" in French port town of Calais in a bid to target people-smuggling gangs and prevent asylum seekers and migrants from attempting the journey across the channel, the British government announced on Thursday.

The joint initiative will be finalised on a visit to Calais by British Home Secretary Theresa May on Thursday where she will meet with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. It is the first trip by a British government minister to the French port since the migrant crisis escalated earlier this year.

Since June, at least 10 migrants have died attempting to enter Britain via the Eurotunnel in hope of a better life, while approximately 5,000 are believed to remain in the French port. Last month, the crisis peaked with thousands of attempts to access the tunnel terminal on several nights. Migrants regularly attempt to jump on or into vehicles waiting to cross the Channel or trains passing through.

The new center will aim to break criminal gangs which attempt to smuggle migrants from northern France into Britain, the British Home Office said. The center will be led by two seniors officials, one British and one French, who will both report to London and Paris respectively.

As part of the joint measures, both countries have also agreed to boost security around the Channel Tunnel with more fencing, flood lighting, infrared detection technology and surveillance to be installed, the Associated Press reported.

Britain and France Create Joint Calais Command Center to Stop Channel Migrants |