The Home Office is targeting international hauliers in a effort to stem the flow of migrants into the UK, hosting a conference in Brussels on the issue.
Less than seven per cent of fines issued by the Home Office last year were to British drivers, according to Home Office figures. It estimates that more than one third of lorries arriving at the UK border have no basic security precautions in place.
Immigration minister James Brokenshire said: “Most hauliers are meeting the basic standards of lorry security. However, a significant proportion are not and this poses a significant risk of illegal migrants gaining entry to the UK and also of damage to valuable cargo.”
The conference on Monday brought together trade bodies, regulators and haulage companies. It included workshops covering vehicle security technology; Border Force’s approach to the problem; and, in a session led by the European Commission, a discussion on how to spread best practice internationally.
The Home Office highlighted the work carried out with industry partners to encourage good lorry security. This includes:
- a civil penalty regime for drivers and companies who operate unsecure vehicles and bring in illegal immigrants;
- supporting guidance for industry on effective lorry security in 9 European languages;
- an accreditation scheme to help companies achieve a good standard of lorry security – which now has over 300 members from all over Europe; and
- close working with the Traffic Commissioners, the UK Regulator for the haulage industry.