Ministers mocked over 'Dad's Army' border patrol plan

Posted On: 
31st December 2017

Ministers have been mocked for planning a “Dad’s Army” of volunteer border guards to police Britain’s shores.

Tory MP Charlie Elphicke said: “We can’t have a Dad’s Army-type of set-up.”
Credit: 
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The “special volunteers” would patrol hundreds of small air and sea ports in remote areas to catch people-smugglers and help crack down on the drugs and weapons trade.

Around 50 will keep watch on the east coast of England next year as part of a trial run with hopes for expansion in the following months, according to the Mail on Sunday.

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The volunteer force would be modelled on the ‘special police constables’ - a nationwide volunteer team which holds full police powers.

But Tory MP Charlie Elphicke urged ministers to rethink the plan and said: “We can’t have a Dad’s Army-type of set-up.”

“Border security is a skilled job, which takes many years of training. I would urge great caution before seeking to adopt a model like that used by the police, with special constables,” he told the paper.

Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said in a parliamentary written answer earlier this month: “Border Force is considering the use of ‘special’ volunteers to supplement the work of permanently employed staff in mobile teams and at ports.

“To that end Border Force is seeking to learn from various police forces’ use of special constables.”

The Home Office said: “We’re committed to ensuring that Border Force has the resources it needs to keep the UK safe.”