By Daily Mail Reporter and Pa
Published: 00:05 BST, 16 October 2019 | Updated: 00:06 BST, 16 October 2019
Illegal migrant crossings of the Channel will be halved by the end of this month, Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed on Tuesday night.
It came as she agreed an ambitious new action plan with the French which will aim to virtually eliminate the crossings by next spring.
The UK and France agreed to halve crossings in just a fortnight's time. Within six months the dangerous journeys will be an 'infrequent phenomenon', according to the action plan.
Police patrols along the northern French coast will be doubled, with beaches under round-the-clock surveillance for the first time.
Illegal migrant crossings of the Channel will be halved by the end of this month, Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed last night
New detection equipment will be used so French authorities can intercept boats before they leave shore.
More than 1,400 people have crossed the Channel illegally in the past 10 months, unofficial figures show.
Miss Patel said: 'I am absolutely committed to doing everything in my power to stop these dangerous Channel crossings.'
The 'immediate objective', by the end of October, is to halve the number of migrant crossings accounted for over the summer and reduce it further by the end of December so that by the spring it has become an 'infrequent phenomenon', according to the pledges made in the document by the Home Secretary and French interior minister.
Millions of euros in funding could be used to tackle the problem - and once this is spent 'additional UK support' may be