A substantial increase in the number of illegal immigrants detained at UK immigration points has been recorded.
An increase of almost 75 per cent was recorded at sea ports linking Northern Ireland and Scotland, according to the Organised Crime Task Force annual report, which noted that nearly 300 people were intercepted in the last year through these ports alone.
The figures confirmed that nearly 281 people were intercepted at the ports thanks to an increase of around 60 per cent in the rate of detection. More than 70 per cent of the previous year's offenders have since been removed from the country.
A spokesperson for the UK Border Agency (UkBA) commented: "Changes to the way enforcement is organised to target immigration offenders passing through ferry ports has seen an increase in the number of illegal immigrants detected at Scottish and Northern Ireland sea ports.
"The UKBA detected 281 illegal immigrants at Scottish and Northern Ireland sea ports last year, which is almost three-quarters more than the previous year."
The representative added that UK immigration officials are becoming more and more effective at tackling illegal immigration and are working closely with police in local areas to improve their detection rates further.