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Inspection report published:A re-inspection of Border Force’s management of Project Kraken at small seaports

Commenting on the publication of the report, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, David Neal, said:

I welcome the publication of my re-inspection report on Border Force’s management of Project Kraken at small seaports. In 2021, ICIBI examined the effectiveness of Border Force’s role in managing Project Kraken, the multi-agency response to protecting the UK’s 11,000 miles of coastline from the threat of serious organised crime.

That inspection highlighted low and declining numbers of referrals, which were indicative of low levels of public awareness and issues with the mechanisms used to report suspicious activity along the coastline. At that time, Border Force proposed a further relaunch of Project Kraken in the spring of 2022.

“This re-inspection found that the Border Force staff managing the relaunched project are committed, despite their limited resources and competing priorities, but the lack of a dedicated budget raises questions over the Home Office’s long-term commitment to it.

While further work is needed to increase the volume of intelligence generated by the project, the number of reports received is at its highest ever level. More time is also needed to publicise the relaunched project, but the new Crimestoppers partnership and social media campaign appear to have been effective. There were missed opportunities to maximise promotion of the project, compounded by the lack of a Home Office social media campaign to publicise it. An effective engagement strategy that maximises the resources available from partner agencies would go some way to improving this.

The Home Office needs to develop measures to understand the effectiveness of the project. So, while progress has been made since the last inspection, more time and resource are required if the project is to realise its full potential in helping to protect the border.

The report makes four recommendations. The Home Office has fully accepted one recommendation, partially accepted one, and not accepted two. The rejection of the recommendation that an engagement strategy be developed is particularly disappointing, as such a strategy could assist Border Force in reaching a wider audience via partner agencies that are already embedded in the maritime community. The failure to invest in a social media campaign ahead of the first full general maritime season since the relaunch seems, at best, short-sighted.


This inspection report was sent to the Home Secretary on 16 March 2023. In line with the Home Office’s commitment to lay my reports in Parliament within eight weeks of submission, subject to both Houses of Parliament being in session, it should have been published nearly a month ago. Only one of the 28 ICIBI reports that have been released during my tenure has been published on time.

Link:, dated June 15, 2023 9:43 am

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