France has introduced sea patrols for passenger ferries to and from Britain, after a string of jihadist attacks in recent months that have shaken the country, a marine police spokesman said.

“A permanent unit has been deployed for passenger ferries since August 1,” Lieutenant Pierre-Joachim Antona told AFP.

“The marine gendarmes will carry out patrols, which will be random but regular, with the aim of securing these vessels against the terrorist threat,” he added.

Marine police deployed all along the French coastline – from the North Sea to the Mediterranean – have been tasked with contributing to efforts that began last year to secure the country’s waters, in cooperation with land forces, the spokesman said.