Over 100 dogs on duty
19th May 2010: The UK Border Agency has deployed more than 100 sniffer dogs to protect the border and enforce the law.
The assertion came soon after a sniffer dog checking vehicles before they boarded ferries bound for Dover prevented 25 foreign nationals from entering the country illegally. The male stowaways – from Afghanistan, Syria and Iran – were caught hiding in lorry at Dunkirk, France by the UK Border Agency.
The springer spaniel, called Louis, detected the scent of humans and alerted his handler. The officers then opened the Czech lorry and found the would-be illegal immigrants – including a father and his sons, aged 7 and 9 – concealed among bottles of wine and olive oil. The consignment was due to be delivered to a depot in Weston-super-Mare.
The stowaways were all handed over to the French border police.
Tom Dowdall, the UK Border Agency’s director for European operations, said:
‘This is exactly why we base so many of our staff in France and Belgium – to stop illegal immigrants before they can reach the UK.
‘As well as using sniffer dogs, our staff also has heartbeat detectors and carbon dioxide probes to detect the presence of people hiding in lorries.’
In 2009, over 29,000 individual attempts to cross the Channel illegally were prevented.