What lessons can our own UK Border Force learn from India?
Friday 26 July - Our UK coastline, taken as a whole, is far larger than, say, the border between the United States and Mexico, (1954 miles, 3145 km) or between India and Bangladesh (2546 miles, 4097 km).
The Ordnance Survey records the coastline of the main island, Great Britain, as 11,073 miles (17,820 km).
The British Cartographic Society points out that if the larger islands are added, the coastline as measured by the standard method at Mean High Water Mark rises to about 19,491 miles (31,368 km).
Up to now we have relied largely on the natural barrier of the English Channel (18 nautical miles, 33 km at its narrowest point) to protect us from unwanted invasions. However, with illegal immigration and people smuggling on the rise, we should ask ourselves what we could learn from other countries and their methods or border control.
The UK Border Force has 23,500 employees, which equates to just over one employee per mile of coastline. Contrary to what many people believe, it is not a police force and its employees are not armed.
India’s Border Security Force, on the other hand, has 186 battalions and 257,363 people. That's more than ten times as many people to patrol a border that is eight times shorter than that of the UK.
It’s a paramilitary organization with an intelligence network, ten artillery units, air and marine wings, and canine and even camel units.
Unlike the UK Border Force, BSF personnel are armed. Not only that, but they are allowed to shoot on sight.
When it comes to border security, India’s twin assets are determination and manpower. Thanks to Theresa May, the PM with the worst track record in Britain's history, the UK doesn't have much of either determination or manpower. Maybe Boris can fix that.