VIDEO footage shows the moment border force officers stormed a ferry to find suspected illegal immigrants.

People were seen being marched off the boat at Newhaven Port flanked by border force officials and police.

The officers were called to the port where a ferry had arrived on New Year’s Eve.

Footage from Sussex Incidents showed them in high-viz jackets patrolling the decks on board the DFDS boat which had sailed fro Dieppe.

They appeared to search each deck of the vessel, to make sure no one was hiding or had stowed themselves away on board.

Police, Coastguard and RNLI Lifeboat volunteers were also called in to help in the afternoon gloom.

Later, officers were seen leading people off the ferry on foot before the rest of those on board could disembark.

The Argus:

The arrests follow a difficult year patrolling the sea coast in Sussex and Kent, with people migrating in small vessels, boats and dinghies to make the perilous English Channel crossing.

Sussex Police said: "This afternoon, we responded to support Border Force staff dealing with a number of people suspected of not having authority to enter the UK attempting to leave a ferry that had arrived at Newhaven Port.

The Argus:

“Those detained are being taken into custody by Border Force for further inquiries.”

The Home Office did not comment on the situation.

Previously, The Argus has reported on fears over border security at Newhaven Port.

The border was identified as a potential weak point by the Home Office in 2016.

Security has since been beefed up as Britain has prepared for Brexit.

In April last year The Argus reported on how lorry driver Aleh Razinkou was jailed over smuggling two Albanian nationals into the UK.

Inside the trailer on the Mercedes lorry they found a woman and a man hidden in sleeping bags behind the top bunk of the driver’s cab.

Both were strapped in place and were covered with bags and a mattress.

Investigators said their welfare was “low on the list of Razinkou’s priorities”.

Razinkou was jailed for two years.

Last month it was revealed that the government has pledged a further £6.2 million for Newhaven's border operation. It will fund better facilities at the port and ensure that customs checks can also be carried out.

Britain has agreed a trade deal with the EU, and traffic heading towards the continent will be subjected to new checks, paperwork and trade rules.

The Argus:

Traffic from Europe into the UK will not yet face the same restrictions because UK facilities are not yet in place.

There were fears raised over the possibility of a Newhaven becoming a "Brexit dumping ground" with plans for a lorry park in East Sussex, but MP Maria Caulfield said the £6.2 million scheme will create jobs.