LONDON – A group of British lawmakers says the country has fewer than 10 Border Force vessels to patrol 7,000 miles (11,000 kilometers) of coastline — a "worryingly low" number.
The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee says Royal Navy vessels should be used to bolster coastal security and deter people-smugglers.
The government announced in May that it was buying eight new patrol boats to supplement the five-strong Border Force fleet. But the committee said in a report Wednesday that only four have been deployed, "and the remaining four will not be available for more than a year."
Committee chairman Keith Vaz said that "Border Force is operating worryingly low numbers of vessels to protect our borders."
The government says additional military and law enforcement vessels are available if needed.