On Thursday, the prefecture of Alpes-Maritimes issued two decrees authorizing the "capture, recording, and transmission of images" through the use of drones in designated areas of Menton, Castellar, Sospel, and Breil-sur-Roya communes. This measure, effective for a period of three months, aims to prevent unauthorized migration into France.
The texts state that the difficult topography and the numerous paths allowing to bypass the controls make it impossible to prevent the irregular crossing of the border without a dynamic aerial surveillance of all these areas.
Elisabeth Borne, the Prime Minister, had already announced measures to monitor the border at the end of April, including the deployment of 150 additional police and gendarmes in the Alpes-Maritimes. She also announced the creation of a "border force" that will associate more closely security forces, customs officers and military, planned for next summer and implemented within six months.
The authorities argue that their measures are motivated by an increase in attempted crossings from neighbouring Italy. According to the regional prefecture, "the migratory flow from Italy has increased fourfold since the beginning of 2023." Around 9,000 "irregular individuals have been intercepted" at the border.