United Kingdom

Number of migrants crossing English Channel tops 5,000 this year

Migrants detained by Border Force officers trying to cross the English Channel in small boats has reached more than 5,000 in number - despite efforts from the Home Office to crack down on the crisis.

Yesterday 110 people were intercepted making the dangerous crossing of the busiest shipping lands in the world taking the tally to 5,007 who have been detained so far in 2021.

Just 1,865 migrants were picked up by Border Force in the same period from January 1 to June 14 in 2020 - which turned out to be a record year with 8,410 eventually making crossings last year.

French authorities intercepted a further four crossing attempts overnight on Monday involving 45 people.

But more migrants have arrived today as the heatwave continues with calm seas making the 21-mile voyage slightly easier to carry out.

One boat was seen being brought in by a Border Force patrol boat with four men wearing life jackets and face masks escorted off the jetty to be handed over to immigration officials.

More migrants arriving in Dover this week as numbers came to over 5,000 this year

A man who made the Channel crossing on June 10  huddled in a blanket

A Home Office spokesperson said: 'Criminal gangs are putting profits before people's lives through these dangerous and unnecessary crossings.

'Almost 5,000 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people smuggling.

Inaction is not an option whilst people are dying. The Government is bringing legislation forward through our New Plan for Immigration which will break the business model of these heinous people smuggling networks and save lives.'

Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke called for "more robust deterrents" to ensure migrants crossing the Channel by small boat know "they have no chance of breaking into Britain in this way".

Reacting to the news of more than 5,000 migrants arriving in 2021, she said: "Small boats crossings have gone on for too long. It's time these crossings came to an end.

Several people being brought ashore today at the Port of Dover earlier this week

A border force vessel carries newly arrived migrants after being picked up in a dinghy

"We should look at more robust deterrents that have been adopted elsewhere - notably in Australia, where a robust stance has saved lives and massively reduced illegal immigration activity.

"Everyone knows that these crossings will only come to an end when migrants know that they have no chance of breaking into Britain in this way, and the criminal gangs stop profiting from them."

Border Force has intercepted at least three boats in the Channel so far today.

The first group of arrivals was brought into Dover Marina around 8am on the back of Border Force cutter Hunter.

At least ten migrants - some huddling blankets and carrying their possessions in rucksacks after making the treacherous 21-mile trip across the busiest shipping route in the world - were seen on board.

They disembarked and were escorted up the gangway for processing by Immigration Enforcement officers.

Two young girls were seen smiling and giggling on the mooring after being brought in off the next boat shortly after 11am.

One was given white flip flops due to being barefooted when arriving alongside a woman, who was also wearing a red woolly hat and cuddling a blanket like the children.

They were followed by a Border Force vessel carrying around ten more migrants shortly afterwards.

A further rigid hulled inflatable boat carrying another dozen people was intercepted just before noon.

The Home Office is yet to reveal how many migrants crossed the Channel by small boat today.

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