The latest addition to the Border Force’s fleet, HMC Protector, was officially launched this Monday (17th March) by Home secretary Theresa May at a ceremony at HMS President in London. She said:
‘We are an island and seafaring nation and HM cutters have a proud history of protecting our shores.
‘Today’s vessels include sophisticated surveillance and navigation equipment to locate potential threats at sea.
‘But it is the professionalism and commitment of the crew, who patrol all year round and in all weathers, that is our strongest weapon against organised traffickers.’
HMC Protector is to join four sister cutters, Seeker, Searcher, Vigilant and Valiant, operated by Border Force in their priority function of the protecting and securing UK waters and coastal borders. They operate 24 hours a day throughout the year patrolling high risk areas and responding to risk and intelligence led information, manned by crews highly trained in maritime enforcement.
Last year officers boarded 2000 vessels arriving in UK waters with the primary aim of intercepting and deterring shipments of drugs and other prohibited goods, and people trafficking into the UK. Some of the largest seizures over recent years include:
- 2013 – 120kg of cocaine worth £20 million was found on a yacht off the Isles of Scilly
- 2011- 1.2 tonnes of cannabis worth £10 million was discovered on a yacht off the Isle of Wight
The Immigration control remit for Border Force and its fleet of cutters falls under the Home Office Policy of “Securing borders and reducing immigration”.
Another change announced is that in Australia, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, Hong Kong, Italy and Finland there are changes to the UK visa application centres and you can check for details here.
If you need a visa to work in IT, Engineering, or Finance then Commonwealth Contractors may well be able to help.
To find out more about our solutions call now on 0330 390 9021 or Send us some details now and we will get right back to you!