UK Border patrol vessels: Numbers 'worryingly low', MPs warn

Britain's Border Force has a "worryingly low" number of boats to patrol the UK's coasts, MPs have said, amid concerns that coastal security is under threat from people smugglers.

The Home Affairs Select Committee said that only three boats were available to patrol 7,000 miles of shoreline.

Royal Navy vessels should be made available to plug any gaps, it said.

The Home Office says it makes use of radar and aerial surveillance and has ordered eight more boats.

The UK has a total of five Border Force vessels, but one has been deployed to the Mediterranean and another is in dock for maintenance.

The Border Force has been given a "key role in implementing strengthened coastal security measures", but it is "experiencing problems in gaining access to a sufficient number of patrol boats", the committee said.

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