Border Force

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Border Force
Border Force logo.png
Logo of the Border Force.
Agency overview
Formed 1 March, 2012
Preceding agency UK Border Agency
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
United Kingdom
Legal jurisdiction United Kingdom
General nature
Specialist jurisdiction National border patrol, security, and integrity.
Operational structure
Overviewed by Independent Police Complaints Commission/Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary
Agency executive Sir Charles Montgomery,
Director General
Parent agency Home Office
Cutters HMC Protector, HMC Seeker, HMC Searcher, HMC Vigilant and HMC Valiant.

The Border Force is a part of the Home Office, responsible for frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports in the United Kingdom. On 20 February 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May announced the force would be separated from the UK Border Agency in March that year.[1]

Since 1 March 2012, the Border Force has been a separate operational command, with its own ethos of law enforcement, led by its own Director General, and accountable directly to ministers as part of the Home Office.[2] The work of the Border Force is monitored by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration.


The stated responsibilities of the Home Office's Border Force are the following:[3]

  • To check the immigration status of people arriving in and departing the UK.
  • To search baggage, vehicles and cargo arriving in the UK for illicit goods or illegal immigrants.
  • To patrol the UK coastline and search vessels to prevent smuggling with its fleet of 5 cutters (HMC Protector and four 42m cutters).[4]
  • To gather intelligence to protect and collect customs revenues for trade crossing the border.
  • To alert the police and security services to people of interest attempting to enter or depart the UK.


The head of the Border Force was, until recently, former Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police Brian Moore, who was appointed on secondment on an interim basis to last until 31 August 2012 and was required to apply for the position again.[5] On 10 July 2012, Immigration Minister Damian Green confirmed that Moore had not applied for the post, despite Moore earlier telling the Home Affairs Select Committee that he would be applying.

Tony Smith was appointed as interim Director General of the Border Force on 19 September 2012.[6] Smith was previously Gold Commander for the joint UKBA and Border Force Olympics and has spent forty years in border control and enforcement work.

Vice-Admiral Sir Charles Montgomery was named as the new Director General on 25 January 2013.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Theresa May to split up UK Border Agency, BBC News Online, 20 February 2012
  2. ^ Home Secretary's statement on border security, Home Office Website, Monday, 20 Feb 2012
  3. ^ "Inside government: Border Force". UK Government ( Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Revenue Cutters - Current Fleet". Revenue Cutter Association. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  5. ^ David Millward (22 May 2012). "Border Force chief faces battle to keep job over threat of four-hour immigration queues during Olympics". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Home Affairs Select Committee, 18 September 2012
  7. ^ "New Director General of Border Force announced". Home Office. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 

External links[edit]