United Kingdom

Almost 200 migrants arrive in Dover in one day - in the second biggest day of crossings this year

A total of 186 migrants arrived in Britain by small boat yesterday in the second busiest day for Channel crossings of the year so far.   

May is on track to see the most crossings of 2021, with 636 migrants making the treacherous journey in the first 12 days, with more 2,744 detained since the year began. 

The whole of March saw a record-breaking 831 crossings. April 28, the busiest day of the year, saw 209 cross the waters in nine boats. 

Yesterday's first arrivals were seen huddled on the back of Border Force cutter Speedwell at around 6.30am with their large grey rigid hulled inflatable boat in tow.

The men and women all wore orange lifejackets and face masks as they disembarked at Dover Marina, Kent for processing. 

May is on track to see the most crossings of 2021, with 636 migrants making the treacherous journey in the first 12 days 

Migrants are pictured arriving into Dover marina, escorted by Border Force officials earlier this month

Border Force officials were seen helping one woman off the boat after she was picked up making the crossing earlier in May

More men were later brought in around 9am on smaller Border Force vessels due to the size of the large RHIB used.

Children under the age of 10 wearing thick winter coats were among a group brought in around 11am.

The last boat carrying almost 30 migrants was intercepted late in the day and brought in for processing around 5pm.

French authorities also prevented 96 migrants from making the dangerous voyage in seven boats, according to the Home Office.

At around 7am, 29 migrants including five women were dropped off at Dunkirk after their boat was discovered stranded on the riprap of the breakwater near Malo-les-Bains dyke

Four migrants in difficulty were also rescued by the Notre-Dame-de-Risban cruiser eight miles off Calais. They were returned shortly after 9.30am.

On Monday around 50 migrants are thought to have been caught by officers making the treacherous 21-mile crossing from France, meaning more than 2,500 people have been prevented from making the journey across the Straits of Dover so far this year. 

On Sunday, Border Force intercepted 81 migrants on three inflatable dinghies while French authorities caught 70 in two boats. On Saturday, UK officials detained 49 migrants in three small boats.

All those captured by Border Force were brought into Dover harbour where they were handed over to immigration officers as nearly 200 migrants were intercepted by UK officials last week. 

Last year, 8,410 migrants were detained making the crossing compared to 1,850 in 2019.

Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK, told MailOnline earlier this week: 'Until it's made beyond doubt that such arrivals will not be granted asylum, numbers will go on increasing. That's as clear as day.' 

Around 50 migrants were said to have been caught by officers on Monday, meaning more than 2,500 people have been prevented from making the journey across the Straits of Dover so far this year. Pictured earlier this month  

In March, Priti Patel announced plans to overhaul Britain's immigration regime by giving border guards patrolling the Channel greater powers to turn back migrant boats.  

The crackdown will be dependent on France and other countries accepting the return of migrants. 

The planned shake-up includes other controversial steps such as stripping failed asylum seekers of support and accommodation.

Foreign nationals could also be refused UK visas if their governments do not accept deportations of their own immigration rule-breakers from Britain.

France struck a deal with the UK in November to tackle illegal Channel crossings but has so far resisted the idea of having dinghies sent back to its northern beaches.

The Government's new plan for immigration, published in full on March 24, revealed the bill for the asylum system is set to rise to more than £1.3billion this year, from just under £1billion in 2019-20.

According to official figures more than 2,500 migrants have been detained already this year. Pictured earlier this month  

The National Crime Agency has issued an alert to the UK maritime industry, warning them that organised crime groups may target them to obtain small boats for people smugglers.

The alert warns that since global Covid-19 lockdown measures were imposed in March 2020 the number of migrants attempting to enter the UK using small boats has rocketed.

The NCA says UK law enforcement detected in excess of eight thousand migrant arrivals throughout 2020 and that this has led to a rise in demand for vessels to aid migrant Channel crossings, with demand likely to continue as weather conditions improve through spring and summer.

It says organised crime groups are known to target legitimate sellers of vessels and equipment such as outboard motors and life jackets, both in person and online.

There are also incidents recorded of boats and equipment being stolen.

The NCA has conducted a number of operations targeting those who supply boats to people smugglers, but the agency is asking those in the industry to report concerns or suspicious activity relating to the purchase of boat equipment. 

Number of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats

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