Fears small boat crossings to UK will rocket during Olympics if Macron redeploys police | World | News

The large deployment of police officers in central France for the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games has sparked concerns the number of small boat crossings may spike this summer.

The summer months normally see an increase in the number of crossings of the Channel attempted by small boats carrying migrants, due to the favourable conditions created by the calm waters and warm weather.

Government sources reportedly fear the number of crossings attempted may grow further if Emmanuel Macron’s government decides to reposition police from the beaches of Calais to the capital to face the enormous amount of tourists, officials and athletes visiting the country for the Games.

One source described as an insider told The Sun: “We’re making big representations over the Olympics and hope we can keep enough boots on the beaches.

“But if too many police are redeployed to Paris, things could take off.”

The UK and France have already agreed to work closely on both protecting Paris during the Olympics and prevent small boats from crossing the Channel.

In January, Home Secretary James Cleverly held talks with his French counterpart Gérald Darmanin, after which the British politician promised in a statement “to see our countries continue to work closely together, not least as France takes on the challenge of hosting the Olympics this summer”.

Also in January, it was reported that, alongside the UK deploying security experts to protect Paris, both governments were planning to use more drones and sea barriers to fight Channel crossings of small boats.

Moreover, in early March, the UK and France agreed to lead a group of northern European countries who have agreed to tackle the supply of small boats used to carry migrants across the Channel.

The initiative will see the customs agencies of the nations involved share information on the shipping of small boat materials more effectively.

A source described as close to the Home Secretary shared there is determination in both London and Paris for the collaboration between the two governments to be fruitful and effective.

They told The Sun: “We are as determined as France that they have a successful and safe Olympics and know they have thought carefully and professionally about how to achieve this.

“We have discussed this and were encouraged by their willingness to achieve both that aim and a maintenance of the effective work they have been doing to help us stop the boats.”

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