الأحد , يونيو 14 2020

Hauliers owe £4m in migrant fines

A migrant climbing down from a lorry in Calais

Haulage firms and lorry drivers owe more than £4m in fines imposed by UK Border Force staff after migrants were found on their vehicles.

The BBC has learned that more than 3,300 fines were issued in 2014/15 – an increase of more than 50% on 2013/14.

The fines can be as much £2,000 per migrant and can be levied against both the driver and their employer.

Hauliers say the system is “unfair” but the Home Office said many lorries did not have “basic standards of security”.

The fines, known as “civil penalties”, can be imposed as lorries enter the UK, and also when they are searched by UK officials at ports in France – such as Calais – and Belgium ahead of their arrival in the UK, under the so-called juxtaposed controls system.

‘Desperate people’

The number of penalties issued over the last five years are:

  • 2010/11 – 1,497
  • 2011/12 – 1,385
  • 2012/13 – 998
  • 2013/14 – 2,177
  • 2014/15 – 3,319 (the appeal period has not concluded, so number could fall)

The figures come amid the escalating crisis around Calais, during which thousands of migrants have tried to board UK-bound lorries, some of which have faced delays because of strikes on the French side of the Channel Tunnel.

On Monday night alone, migrants are said to have made 600 attempts to enter the tunnel to try to stow away on lorries.

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