French armed forces could begin operating on the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry line, as authorities step up security in the English Channel.
Ferry operators DFDS Seaways say they have been asked by French authorities to co-operate with a request to winch security teams onto its ships at random intervals.
The increased security comes in response to a series of recent terror attacks in France and elsewhere in mainland Europe.
A spokeswoman for DFDS said: “The safety and security of our customers and staff is our number one priority and we work closely with both the French and British authorities regarding the security of terminals on each side of the Channel and of our ships. A robust set of procedures exists to heighten security in line with advice from the government and intelligence services and we follow their advice at all times.
“Understandably, security around French ports has been increased in recent weeks as a result of the tragic events in Nice. The French authorities are carrying out increased checks at the border at Dover and there is an increased security presence at Calais and Dunkirk. This will occasionally include armed security teams that will be winched down to our ships from helicopters.
“We will co-operate fully with the increased security measures that are required.
“On the Newhaven-Dieppe service we have been asked by the French authorities to co-operate with a request to winch armed security teams onto the ships at random intervals.
“Given the nature of the request, we can’t divulge further information about when this might occur, but we will of course keep our customers fully informed if this will happen during their journey.”
On Tuesday (August 2), French security team boarded the Portsmouth to Caen ferry line as part of a planned exercise.
Passengers were informed of the operation once the ferry was underway.
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