Galloway ferry port security staff return investigated
The possible reinstatement of UK Border Agency staff at the Irish Sea ferry port at Cairnryan is to be investigated.
The move follows talks between Scotland Office Minister David Mundell, the police and local politicians.
The UKBA is planning to recruit six additional staff in Belfast and it was suggested some of those should be based at Cairnryan in south west Scotland.
Mr Mundell has agreed to follow up on the proposal to see if it is feasible.
The move has been welcomed as "a step forward" by Labour MP Russell Brown, who has criticised both the UK and Scottish governments for cuts in funding for ports police staff.
Mr Mundell's visit came after a rise in the number of immigration offenders detected at Scottish and Northern Irish sea ports.
Recent figures showed that last year 281 were detected - a 77% increase compared with 2010.
Ahead of the visit, Mr Mundell said the combined efforts of the UKBA and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary had ensured a greater number of immigration offenders had been intercepted in their attempts to travel on to mainland UK.
However, Dumfries and Galloway Labour MP Mr Brown claimed the route remained a soft touch for illegal immigrants.