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Britain, France boost security to stop migrants from Channel

Published by Business Insider on Thu, 20 Aug 2015

CALAIS, France (AP) ' Britain and France are fortifying security around the Channel Tunnel and boosting intelligence efforts against traffickers as they try to dissuade thousands of migrants from trying to make the illegal ' and sometimes deadly ' undersea journey to British shores.Better fencing, surveillance cameras, flood lighting and infrared detection technology will be installed around the entrance to the Eurotunnel in the French port of Calais, as part of joint efforts being announced Thursday, according to a British statement.Calais has been a flashpoint in a European summer marked by unusually large waves of migrants. Since the start of June, at least 10 migrants have died trying to sneak through the Channel Tunnel in hopes of finding prosperity in Britain. Countless others have slipped through undetected on trucks and one recently on foot.Britain and France have accused each other of not doing enough to manage the migrants.British Home Secretary Theresa May and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve are meeting at the tunnel entrance Thursday and will announce a new joint command center run by police from both countries.The center will aim to better coordinate intelligence to "find and disrupt" migrant trafficking gangs, and will routinely report to May and Cazeneuve.The two governments also agreed to boost security within the 50-kilometer (31-mile) tunnel and increase French police deployment around Calais.No time frame or cost has been provided for the new measures.The number of attempted tunnel crossings has already dropped to about 150 a night since emergency security measures were put in place, down from a height of about 2,000 in late July, Eurotunnel says.French authorities will also strengthen support for aid groups and local officials helping the most vulnerable migrants, Cazeneuve's office said in a statement. The French government has come under criticism for not doing enough to help the migrants in Calais, most of whom live in crude self-made shelters.Cazeneuve heads later Thursday to Germany for more talks on migration.___Danica Kirka in London and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed to this report.Join the conversation about this story
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