ILLEGAL immigrant traffickers are targeting the Frinton and Walton coastline with small boats to evade detection, town councillors have claimed.

Town councillors raised the issue with police community support officers at a meeting of its crime and disorder panel.

However, officers argued it was “unlikely” the coastline will be a target for small boats landing illegally.

But at a meeting of the full council, Frinton councillor Nick Turner responded by drawing parallels with Operation Sealion - Hitler’s plan for the invasion of Britain during the Second World War.

He said: “It’s interesting they didn’t think we are a prime landing area for illegal immigrants.

“It’s funny as Hitler thought these would be the main invasion beaches.”

Councillor Vanda Watling said:“I believe police have said on the radio a number you should ring should you witness something like this.

“We are a prime area for small boats landing.

“It was on CCTV at the Titchmarsh the year before last.

“In this area we should publicize the number people should ring if they see any activity which they think is odd.”

Kirby councillor Robert Bucke added: “I recall now watching the film Cockleshell Heroes and I’m confident the people entering this country are brought halfway across the Channel in big boats and then offloaded into a small boat.

“They can come ashore in small boats anywhere along this coastline.”

Cockleshell Heroes is a 1955 war film portraying a daring Second World War raid, when Royal Marines used collapsible canoes to reach an enemy-held harbour undetected.

Some refugee charities have warned there are up to 3,000 migrants in northern France and Belgium wanting to get across to the UK.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid recently signed a new deal with his French counterpart designed to return migrants who illegally cross the Channel.

Anyone who sees suspicious activity on the coast can contact the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement hotline on 0300 123 7000.

In an emergency, call 999 and ask for the police.