LETTER: Volunteers to patrol coast?
As we have just learned from the incident at Chichester Marina, our coastline is vulnerable to opportunistic people who are charging outrageous amounts of money to smuggle people into our country.
Some of these migrants may well be fleeing desperate situations in their country, but there are many more who are just economic migrants.
With over 11,000 miles of coastline round the main island of Britain, it seems an impossible task to patrol our waters with so many remote sections for boats to land undetected.
Places like the Polruan National Coastwatch Institute do a great job, as I witnessed first hand after visiting their look out station in Cornwall.
Currently there are 50 stations, manned by volunteers, keeping a visual watch in the interest of safety at sea as well as nearby paths and on cliffs. Now, people smuggling is a potential threat.
What is the answer?
Chichester, according to Europol, is one of 13 migrant hot spots, targeted by criminal, smuggling gangs.
Maybe we should enlist more, retired volunteers to be additional eyes along the coast, looking out for anything suspicious and reporting incidents to the Coastguard.
Or, maybe some of you have some suggestions?