Strengthened Alliance to Curb Illegal Migration
In a significant move to tackle the escalating issue of illegal migration, law enforcement agencies from the United Kingdom and Turkey have announced a groundbreaking partnership.
This collaboration aims to combat organized immigration crime and disrupt the supply chain of materials used in illegal migration journeys, including small boats and boat parts.
Minister’s Strategic International Efforts
The initiation of this strategic partnership follows Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick’s recent visit to Turkey.
Over the past months, Jenrick has undertaken a series of crucial international visits to bolster cooperation and address the challenges posed by illegal migration and smuggling networks.
These visits spanned countries including Belgium, Tunisia, Italy, and Turkey, with a focus on strengthening alliances to counter the intricate routes utilized by smugglers.
Successes and Collaborative Efforts
The effectiveness of these international collaborations is becoming evident. Recent agreements with nations such as Bulgaria and Georgia have yielded positive results.
Moreover, closer ties with France and Albania have led to a remarkable 90% reduction in Albanian small boat arrivals in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year, while French authorities reported a 40% surge in prevented illegal crossing attempts.
A Center of Excellence to Combat Immigration Crime
A pivotal facet of the deepened UK-Turkey partnership is the establishment of a new operational “Centre of Excellence” by the Turkish National Police. This center, backed by UK support, is designed to serve as a hub for tackling organized immigration crime.
By enhancing the alignment of intelligence and promoting swift information exchange between law enforcement agencies, the center aims to expedite operational responses.
Strengthened Data Exchange and Intelligence Sharing
A newly forged memorandum of understanding solidifies the commitment of both nations to amplify the exchange of customs data, information, and intelligence feeds.
This initiative aims to bolster collaborative efforts in disrupting the supply chain of small boats and materials utilized in illegal migration.
Joint Resources and Countermeasure Deployment
Efforts to curb illegal migration are being reinforced through joint resource deployment. The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Home Office Intelligence staff will work closely with their Turkish counterparts.
Additionally, increased deployment of UK officers in Turkey will enhance collaborative operations against criminal networks that facilitate illegal journeys.
Determination and Collaboration: A United Front
Speaking on the issue, Home Secretary Suella Braverman underscored the unwavering commitment to dismantle people-smuggling gangs and prevent illegal boat crossings.
The alliance with Turkey, a close and steadfast ally, is poised to empower law enforcement agencies to jointly address this global concern and disrupt the small boat supply chain.
Unyielding Resolve to Combat Organized Crime
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick emphasized the scale of the challenge posed by illegal migration and heralded the strategic partnership with Turkey as a decisive step in confronting it.
The intensified exchange of intelligence, technology, and personnel is expected to dismantle smuggling networks and thwart the manufacturing and supply of materials facilitating illegal crossings.
Towards a Comprehensive Approach
This robust partnership also addresses the export of small boats and boat parts across Europe, which plays a critical role in the tactics of people smugglers.
This widespread practice involves the transportation of hundreds of boats and components through the continent each year, highlighting the extent of criminal activity.
Navigating the Path Forward
This dynamic collaboration is set to gain further traction with the upcoming UK-Turkey Migration Dialogue meeting scheduled for the autumn in London. Both nations are committed to raising the issue of illegal migration on international platforms, demonstrating their shared determination to combat this challenge.
Pioneering Global Cooperation
This partnership marks the next step in the UK’s efforts to strengthen cooperation with international partners on the global challenge of illegal migration.
This joint work with allies is a key strand of the Prime Minister’s plan to stop the boats, driving efforts upstream to clamp down on the criminality that enables illegal crossings to the UK.