PORTS like Poole could be exploited by traffickers arranging for migrants to cross the English Channel in small boats.

The warning comes from Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill, who says the migrant crisis with people attempting the crossing to Britain from France should serve as a warning to coastal communities that we are ‘vulnerable’. He called for further investment to improve coastal security in Dorset.

The focus currently is on protecting the border in the south east with a Royal Navy vessel deployed last week.

Mr Underhill said the government showed it was taking the issue seriously by announcing another 1,000 Border Force officers last year.

He added: “However, recent news stories about migrants attempting to cross the Channel in small dinghies shows the risks that traffickers are prepared to take, and should serve as a warning never to become complacent.

“The small ports along our coastline remain vulnerable to illegal entry, and I will be continuing to press for further investment and for the use of innovative technology to improve security.”

Mr Underhill added: “While we require further commitment from the government, I would also urge members of our own maritime and aviation communities to remain vigilant.”