Sharp decrease in stowaways found on ferries from Netherlands to England

ferry Ijmuiden Robert Cutts Flickr

The number of stowaways found trying to sneak to England by ferry and boat decreased significantly compared to last year, according to RTV Rijnmond. In the first quarter of 2017 a total of 220 stowaways were detained at Dutch ports, compared to 360 in the same period last year.

Sniffer dogs deployed to search trucks about to make the crossing by ferry played a big part in the decrease, according to the broadcaster. "They smell within seconds whether there are people in the truck", Maarten Knol of the Koninklijke Marechaussee - a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border security - said to newspaper AD. "And they miss almost nothing. We would love to use even more dogs, the we'll be even more active."

Over the past years the number of stowaways trying to sneak to England increased significantly, especially from Hoek van Holland. Other popular ports for stowaways to try their luck are IJmuiden and the Europoort at the port of Rotterdam. Albanians form the largest group of people caught trying to illegally cross to England, according to the broadcaster. Other stowaways come from Eritrea, Afghanistan and Vietnam, among others.