Keep up to date with the latest news delivered direct to your Inbox.
Cornwall's Last Custom's House Closes
7:01am 31st March 2012
There are fears drugs smuggling could rise in Cornwall, as our last Customs house shuts.
The base at Falmouth has been open for nearly two hundred years.
Shoppers in the town say they are concerned. One local said, "As far as things like drugs are concerned, if there is likely to be an increase, I'm not that happy about it shutting down."
Another warned, "There is bound to be an increase. It's always been a bad coastline for smuggling from that point of view. It is still a port, and the custom house itself, it's a part of Falmouth, it's got to be preserved."
Police insist our safety is not at risk, and say they work closely with local boat owners and crews to help cut marine crime.
Sergeant Chris Miles is based in Falmouth. He said, "My understanding is that some of that responsibility will pass to the UK Border Agency, so we will still have that liaison with an agency to protect the borders and coastline, so it's not an immediate fear that there will be a massive problem.
"The Customs agencies still have their capabilities that we can call on from other areas. There's always the potential that those sort of offences can happen anywhere. People shouldn't be fearful that it will increase these issues."
A spokesperson for the UK Border Agency said, "Falmouth Custom House has not been an operational base for several years, with customs and immigration checks carried out by mobile teams from Plymouth and elsewhere.
“Given Cornwall’s lengthy coastline and large number of small ports and harbours, a static thin blue line of staff based permanently at a single port is not the most effective way to cover the county. Using mobile teams allows Border Force officers to go, on an intelligence-led basis, to where the risk is greatest.
“Passengers and crew arriving at Cornwall’s ports are checked against watchlists before arrival. We receive their details in advance from shipping agents and will refuse entry to anyone with no right to be here. We also have a fleet of cutters patrolling the Cornish coast.”
Share This StoryTweet
Consultation Starts On Dualling Last A30 Bottleneck In Cornwall
Planners say it will help create an 'expressway' to the south-west
WATCH: Cornwall Beauty Spots Added To 'At-Risk' Register
Ruthern Bridge and the HMS Colossus wreck named by Historic England
Amanda Holden's Sister "Critical" After Cornwall Crash
Papers say Britain's Got Talent star has rushed to the Duchy to be with her
Job Losses At Building Supplies Firm With Branches Across Cornwall
We do not know which Travis Perkins sites will be affected
Pirates Welcome Ospreys In British And Irish Cup
Cornwall News: The boss says they are ready to build on last week's victory
Business Cornwall News - Friday, 18th December 2015
Business Cornwall News: Cornwall is spearheading reform of the Uk’s business licensing laws following a a year-long project.
Writer of Dad's Army and Hi-de-Hi! Jimmy Perry dies, aged 93
Showbiz News: One of the creators of comedy classics like Dad's Army and Hi-de-Hi!, Jimmy Perry, has died aged 93.
Coach and truck crash in Palm Springs, California, leaves 13 dead
World News: At least 13 people are reported to have died after a major collision between a coach and a truck on a freeway near Palm Springs, California.
Bangladesh hope for historic Test win
Sports News: Bangladesh need 33 with only two wickets remaining to secure an historic win over England in the first Test.
Soot-covered man rescued from chimney after losing his keys
Strange News: A man who locked himself out of his house had to be pulled to safety after he became stuck in his chimney trying to get back in.