Home Office Has Spent £1 Billion On Drones To Watch Illegal Channel Crossings


The Home Office has spent Over £1 Billion on surveillance technology in the last five years.

The Home Office has spent more than £1 Billion on surveillance technologies including drones and ‘near real-time’ situational awareness platforms in the last five years, according to analysis of procurement data by Tech Monitor.

The UK government has spent more than a billion pounds on surveillance technology in the past five years, including a contract worth up to £1bn on drones to spot illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel.

Maritime experts have warned that using drone surveillance to deter human trafficking “makes no sense from an economic perspective”.

Using maritime surveillance drones to spot illegal immigrants in the English Channel will not deter human trafficking in any way whatsoever.

The largest surveillance contract was won by Tekever, a Portuguese defence technology company which specialises in unmanned aircraft systems.

In 2019, the company was awarded a three-year contract worth up to £1 Billion by the Home Office ‘to enhance maritime awareness’. The contract is set to end on 30 September this year.

The contract does not specify precisely how the technology is used, but at last year’s Defence and Security Equipment International conference in London, Tekever’s UK managing director Paul Webb revealed that the Home Office uses its products for ‘migrant surveillance’.

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