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Immigration and Customs Officials

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many British immigration or customs officials are deployed at (a) Coquelles, (b) Calais and (c) Brussels Station. [68626]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: A total of 129 immigration officers are currently deployed in the British Control Zone at Coquelles. There are no immigration officers currently deployed at Calais port or at Brussels station.

Her Majesty's Customs and Excise have an approximate complement of 270 officers who operate in both the tourist and freight lanes, of the United Kingdom Control Zone at Coquelles. There are no customs officers based at Calais or Brussels station.

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Illegal Entrants

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal entrants have been discovered at Waterloo Eurostar in each of the last six months. [68646]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: There have been no illegal entrants discovered at Waterloo International terminal in the last six months.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal entrants have been discovered at Dover in each of the last six months. [68645]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: In the first six months of this year the Immigration Service at Dover detected and initially detained 275 illegal entrants in January, 230 in February, 207 in March, 268 in April, 322 in May and 329 in June.

These figures exclude illegal entrants who had evaded controls concealed in vehicles and were subsequently discovered by Kent Police and those illegal entrants who attempted to enter the United Kingdom concealed in rail wagons and were intercepted at the Dollands Moor freight yard at Cheriton.

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of (a) lorries and (b) other vehicles passing through Dover from France were not checked for purposes of seeking to discover illegal entrants over the last 12 months. [68620]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 9 July 2002]: Approximately 2,500 lorries arrive at Dover every day on board cross Channel ferries. The majority of these vehicles will have undergone pre-boarding checks conducted by agents for either the carrier or the port authority. In addition, over the last 12 months the Immigration Service has checked on average of almost 8 per cent. of lorries on arrival at Dover. With effect from May 2002 the search ratio has increased to 12 per cent. Selection is based on collated intelligence and profiles.

Other vehicles such as private cars and vans are not systematically checked by Immigration Officers at Dover, but checks are carried out where a vehicle fits a particular profile or where the Immigration Officer's suspicions are otherwise aroused.