The heartbreaking news that 39 bodies had been found, frozen and huddled together in a lorry trailer, was as harrowing as any story I have heard in recent months.
This was horrific, and caused me to take a quiet moment to reflect.
I’m sure decent people across the UK have been just as appalled.
And we should also think of the police and emergency services who were called to the scene of the heinous crime – many will have been emotionally scarred by this appalling loss of life.
As police inquiries accelerate and more of the facts surrounding this tragedy become known, the more unsettling and shocking it becomes.
We have all been aware, as have the Government and National Crime Agency (NCA), that there has been a dramatic rise in human trafficking from the Far East, across Europe, to the UK.
Refrigerated truck containers, chilled to a lethal minus 25 degrees to avoid thermal imaging scanners, are the favoured mode of carriage used by crime gangs to ferry their terrified cargo.
Yet the resources put in place by the Government to stop this flow of human misery has been almost non-existent.
Calais may now be more secure, but it’s obvious that the problem has just moved to Zebruggee in Belgium and other smaller ports.
And, in the case of the even more dangerous inflatable boats used to carry people across the waters of the English Channel, the gangs have simply moved along the French coastline.
In 2016, the UK Border Force found that almost all of the UK’s 62 smaller east coast ports were unmanned and 27 had never even been visited by the Force.
As for the NCA and their counterparts in Europe, their criminal intelligence warned, in 2017, that the closure of the refugee camps in Calais would result in organised crime gangs, such as the mafia and the brutal Chinese Snakehead, exploiting the lack of border security.
They knew then where the migrants were likely to gather, the isolated locations where the containers were stored, and the porous ports favoured by the gangs, yet nothing of any real consequence was done.
Since then, there has been an explosion in the number of people trying to illegally gain entry to the UK, and a rise in the number of fatalities of those poor souls making the attempt.
Given their lack of resources, I’m surprised the UK Border Force has managed to arrest anyone, let alone the 25,000-plus a year they do catch. And, as Brexit looms, the problem is only going to get worse, particularly here in Scotland where we actually need more migrants, not fewer, especially in the NHS and the hospitality industry.
Rather than welcoming more and cracking down on the traffickers, the UK Government seems intent on chasing out those who are already here, perfectly legally.
It ridiculously demands that EU nationals apply for settled status to prove who they are, that they have lived on these isles for more than five years, and their reasons for staying in the UK, when the answers are blatantly obvious.
The distress that this has caused is a disgrace and should be halted immediately.
A vote to leave the EU did not mean that those already living here should be forced to pack their bags.
If it does then, regardless of whether we are in or out of the EU, the sooner Scotland starts looking after its own affairs, including immigration and border security, the better off as a country we will be.