Fresh swoop on people-traffickers expected soon

There has been a stunning drop in the number of refugees that are making their way to the UK via West Flanders Province in Belgium. Police in West Flanders Province recorded a staggering 20% fall in the number of migrants illegally attempting to reach the UK via the coastal province.

Last year 1,037 people were detained here. The decrease is being linked to a clamp down on people-smugglers. West Flanders has been battling people-traffickers who attempt to bring in migrants to the UK by lorry via the continent for some time.

The latest figures also show fewer people-traffickers are active in the province. This is being linked to the harsher sentences for people-trafficking being meted out by Belgian courts.

Fewer illegal migrants making their way to the UK via West Flanders does not mean that the problem has been sorted. People-traffickers are now trying to get migrants on board lorries at car parks before these reach the coastal province of West Flanders. The Governor of West Flanders Carl Decaluwé: "We've noticed that the problem has shifted inland along the E40 Ostend Brussels motorway."

A working party has been set up to look at the issue across the provincial frontiers. A new, joint co-ordinated operation against people-trafficking is expected soon.