'Bungling' French firm replaces British staff guarding our borders
A French firm that has come under fire for a series of blunders has been employed to guard a busy Channel border crossing into Britain.
Home Secretary Theresa May has handed Eamus Cork Solutions (ECS) a £7.1 million deal for the frontline responsibility of searching lorries and buses entering the UK.
The job of searching for immigrants, smugglers or terror suspects at the checkpoint in Dunkirk usually falls to UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff, who are, unsurprisingly, disappointed by the move, calling it 'cheap and a threat to national security'.
To make matters worse, the ECS has also recently come under fire for a series of blunders, including allowing immigrants to escape a detention centre and guards sleeping on duty.
UKBA staff are set to be cut by 5,200 over five years, with immigration officers at Dunkirk already going from 39 to seven.
UKBA sources also suggest that the Government is considering giving the same firm a contract at Calais.
The money-saving move has got UKBA's hackles raised, with one spokesman telling The Sun: 'No contractor is in charge of border checks. We employ additional staff who carry out searches under the direction of UKBA officers. They do not check any form of documentation.'
It comes not long after Theresa May came under fire following revelations that airport passport checks were relaxed over the summer to alleviate lengthy holiday queues.
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