The Government plans to deploy nets to catch dinghies carrying migrants across the English Channel.
Dan O’Mahoney – in charge of the clamp down on illegal crossings – said authorities are considering the “safe return tactic” to disable their boats.
More than 7,100 illegal immigrants have reached the UK so far this year.
Mr O’Mahoney – the new Clandestine Channel Threat Commander – was hired by Home Secretary Priti Patel in August to tackle the crisis.
He said: “We are exploring tactics to make safe interventions, in order to return migrants to France.
“We definitely are very, very close to being able to operationalise a safe return tactic where we make an intervention safely on a migrant vessel, take migrants on board our vessel and then take them back to France.”
He said the tactic was one of many “which we may deploy over the next few months”.
But his plan could prove difficult as France is currently refusing to take back immigrants.
Mr O’Mahoney revealed the Government is also planning a social media campaign urging migrants to seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive in.
However, he insisted that his team’s first priority will always be to rescue those who are stranded in the Channel and bring them to safety.
Last week, there was a suggestion that the immigrants could be held in two disused ferries anchored in the Channel off the coast of Portsmouth.
A spokesman for the Home Office said this plan would not be going ahead.
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