huge panoramic view of queues of people waiting at airport check-in desks

All countries have some form of control of those who wish to enter. Border Force manage the movement of people in and out of the UK, as well as controlling goods entering the country.  

Past and present immigration and Border Force officers talk about their role in this video.

Border Force

Border Force was created in 2012. This brought customs and immigration officers responsible for border security under one command.

Historically, controls on the movement of people in and out of the UK was carried out by the Immigration Service established in 1920. Immigration officers were based at ports and airports across the UK. Their primary role was to allow movement of people entitled to enter the UK whilst also identifying those illegally trying to gain entry. 

This continues as a key role of Border Force today, influenced by global events which have a major impact on the movement of people.

Travellers’ checks

Passengers getting off a Eurostar train

© Neil Pulling

Border Force is part of the Home Office. Border Force Officers are stationed at air and sea ports, the channel tunnel and international rail stations such as St Pancras, London.

Officers based at passenger controls inspect travel documents of those arriving in or leaving the UK, such as passports or identity cards. These checks will look for illegal use, altered or tampered documents, and people pretending to be someone they are not.

Find out more about how Border Force officers detect forged documents in this video.

People trafficking - protecting those at risk

Border Force actively tackles modern day slavery, find out more about their work in this area in this video.

ferry terminal control point for cars and buses

© John Eccles Photography