IMMIGRATION officers targeted two cockle-pickers a Wirral beach as part of a Home Office operation.

Following intelligence, immigration enforcement officers visited Leasowe beach at around 7.30am on Thursday to question the pair to check if they had the right to be in the UK.

One, aged 41, had overstayed his visa and was arrested while the other, aged 39, had entered the country illegally. He was not arrested.

According to a Home Office spokesman, both have been placed on immigration bail while their cases are progressed.

Eddy Montgomery, director of the north, midlands and Wales Home Office immigration enforcement team, said: "We will continue to take action against those who are in the country illegally.

"This operation is an example of the work we do with partners such as Merseyside Police and the Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority to tackle illegal immigration and immigration crime. When someone is found to have no legal right to remain in the UK we take action to remove them.”

"I would urge members of the public with detailed information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch."

Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit