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Border vulnerabilities

The trafficking of criminal commodities such as vulnerable people, guns and drugs across borders is big business for organised crime. Securing the UK's borders and protecting our communities, business and trade is a priority for the NCA and law enforcement partners.

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The threat from border vulnerabilities

The UK border is one of our primary defences against a range of threats but it also has a number of vulnerabilities that are known to and targeted by those who seek to undermine our controls, either for criminal gain, illegal migration or terrorist activity.

Organised crime groups attempt to exploit every means possible to exploit border vulnerabilities and smuggle criminal commodities into the UK. They actively seek any flaws and weaknesses in our ports, airports and transportation services as well as individuals who are willing to facilitate crime through our borders.

Corrupt workers working at ports and airports play a key role in facilitating smuggling and illegal migration.

Our response

We work with partners around the world to try and stem the flow of criminal commodities at source.

We continually assess, analyse and mitigate against vulnerabilities that criminals look to abuse. We share this knowledge with other partners across government and law enforcement to improve border security,  policy and legislation as well as to co-ordinate law enforcement activity.

Border Force is a vital partner in securing our borders. Where BF officers make a seizure and this meets the adoption criteria the NCA will conduct the investigation.  

What you can do to help

You can help secure our borders. If you live near the coast, waterways or a rural airfield and see anything suspicious please report it to your local police or Crimestoppers quoting 'Kraken' (if near a waterway) or 'Pegasus' (if at an airfield).

You should also report any information about individuals abusing their positions at a port or airport. Again please report this to your local police or Crimestoppers.



Latest news on this threat

Rashid walking through airport

A man who tried to smuggle heroin worth almost £1 million into the UK through Birmingham Airport has been jailed for nine years.

Dock workers charged as part of NCA drug investigation

A Portsmouth dock worker has been arrested and charged with attempted drug importation offences.

NCA logo

Two men have been arrested and a cannabis grow worth approximately £75,000 seized as part of an investigation led by the joint National Crime Agency and Police Scotland Organised Crime Partnership.

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