Britain’s borders must be tightened to protect against the terror threat from Islamist extremists after the “wake up call” of the attacks on Paris and Brussels, former senior policemen and terror experts say. The group – including two former Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police and an ex-head of counter terrorism at Scotland Yard – urge the Government to take further measures to tighten border procedures to “make Britons safer”.
The Telegraph is launching a “Border Security” campaign which highlights the porous nature of Britain’s borders and urges the Government to tighten controls to keep out Jihadi attackers and Muslim extremists from the Continent
America routinely screens suspicious travellers and refuses entry to anyone who is deemed a potential terror risk. However, Britain largely relies on intelligence provided by other European agencies which have recently proved to be severely lacking. Hundreds of thousands of migrants have arrived in the European Union over the past year from the middle east with little or no checks made on their identity…
At least one of the key ringleaders involved in the Brussels attacks travelled to Britain last year and the so-called Islamic State repeatedly boasts of its desire to attack this country.
To launch the campaign, The Telegraph publishes an open letter from the country’s most senior security experts calling for a review of border security.
SIR – The recent terrorist attacks in Belgium and France are a wake-up call for the British Government over the need better to secure this country’s borders.
The recent risk analysis report by the EU agency Frontex made clear that terrorists are using the migration crisis to enter Europe and plot atrocities across the continent. EU member states reported a record 1.82 million illegal border crossings last year – six times more than in 2014. Our own National Crime Agency found that migrants have been paying people-traffickers to find new ways to avoid tighter security at Dover and Calais.
Irrespective of whether Britons vote to leave the EU on June 23, we urge the Government to review security at our borders. We would support any new measures to tighten up procedures in order to make Britons safer in an ever more uncertain world.
These could include better sharing of intelligence about potential extremists from other EU countries, and the maintenance of proportionate communications data provisions necessary to protect Britain from attack.
Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, 2000-04
Lord Carlile of Berriew QC
Government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, 2001-11
Sir Paul Stephenson
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, 2009-11
Sir Hugh Orde
President, Association of Chief Police Officers, 2009-15
David Davis MP (Con)
Shadow Home Secretary, 2003-08
Head of Counter Terrorism Command, Metropolitan Police, 2011-15
Director, UK Immigration Service (Ports), 1999-2002