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Applicants: Common travel area - Review of new arrangment at Northern Ireland sea ports

09 July 2012

A report of the new arrangment at Northern Ireland sea ports has been published today.

The number of immigration offenders intercepted by our officers at Northern Irish sea ports has risen by 145 per cent according to the report into new arrangements on the Scottish ferry route.

We have changed working arrangements to improve detection of immigration offenders attempting to use the Belfast to Stranraer ferry. The new arrangement has led to a team being based in Northern Ireland. As part of the new working practice it was agreed to... publish a review of the arrangements after a full year of operations - today's report covers 2011.

The details of the review, which has been agreed with Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, shows that work has been strengthened by close joint working between the 2 organisations. Detections of immigrations offenders by both organisations has increased, showing that 281 offenders were identified, with a 145 per cent increase in those detected by our officers in Northern Ireland, and a 33 per cent increase in detections by the police.

The domestic ferry route is not subject to international border controls.

Phil Taylor, regional director, Scotland and Northern Ireland, UK Border Agency said:

'These results demonstrate that the new arrangements continue to strengthen our work and show that the proportion of immigration offenders detected in Northern Ireland before they travel to Scotland by ferry has continued to increase.

'The collective efforts of officers from Dumfries & Galloway Constabulary and the UK Border Agency have ensured that we have been able to detect an increasing number of immigration offenders, and we'll continue this successful joint working in the future to meet this challenge. Going forward the UK Border Agency, in liaison with the police, will continue to carefully monitor the Stranraer ports.'

You can download a copy of the report from the right side of this page.