New Sensors Expected to Reduce Illegal Immigration Across English Channel
French and British authorities have ordered infrared panoramic detection systems from French company HGH to help reduce illegal immigration across the English Channel.
The two countries have previously signed a “smart border” agreement worth 72.2 million euros for the period 2022-2023. The aim is to use advanced technologies to secure the coastline and prevent people drowning onboard makeshift boats.
HGH will provide its SPYNEL solutions which allow for permanent and continuous surveillance. They will be used in addition to the surveillance provided by patrols, drones and planes already used to monitor the 150 kilometers of coastline along the Nord and Pas-de-Calais region.
Equipped with the CYCLOPE software, SPYNEL panoramic surveillance cameras monitor day and night over a 10-kilometer radius. The infrared sensors instantly alert police command centers if migrants are detected taking boat to sea.
"Image processing and artificial intelligence algorithms have been developed on the CYCLOPE software to trigger an alarm only in case of detection of groups of people near the water, to avoid false alarms and act quickly. The SPYNEL solution is ideal for this need because it allows continuous and intelligent monitoring of the coastline over a very long distance," says Edouard Campana, responsible for the SPYNEL range at HGH.
More than 45,000 migrants reached the English coast illegally in 2022 by crossing the Channel on makeshift boats. Since 2014, more than 200 people have lost their lives trying to cross the Channel from the northern coast of France.