United Kingdom

Number of migrants reaching UK this year nears 15,000:

Up to 80 people, including a baby, have been picked up in the English Channel today as the total number of migrants reaching British shores nears the 15,000 milestone.

Pictures taken in Dover, Kent on Friday showed Border Force officials marshalling dozens of migrants off of boats and inside to be processed.

Eyewitnesses estimate 'at least 80' migrants were brought into Dover Marine, Kent so far on Friday. The Home Office has been contacted for comment. 

If confirmed, that would take the total number of migrants to have reached the United Kingdom so far this year beyond the 15,000 milestone. 

It comes as more than 200 migrants crossed the Channel by small boat on the same day Home Secretary Priti Patel was given a guided tour of operations on the frontline of the ongoing crisis.

Record-breaking numbers of migrants have so far made it across the Channel this year - with numbers already nearing double those recorded in the whole of 2020. 

In total, 14,942 people have made the dangerous crossing across the Channel in 2021 according to official Home Office records. 

More families, including a baby (pictured) were intercepted by Border Force officials crossing the English Channel on Friday

Pictures taken in Dover, Kent on Friday showed Border Force officials marshalling dozens of migrants off of boats and inside to be processed

A Border Force vessel intercepts a group of people thought to be migrants in a small boat off the coast of Dover in Kent

A man carrying a young child on his shoulders - who was wrapped in a blanket and wearing a woollen hat - were among a group of people seen arriving in Dover on Friday amid bright and breezy conditions at sea.

Border Force brought the first group aboard catamaran Hurricane in for processing shortly before 12pm, as approximately 30 people were escorted off for processing by Immigration Enforcement.

The migrants, who were mainly male, wore red blankets for warmth and held their possessions in clear plastic bags.

Shortly after they disembarked, another Border Force cutter docked carrying 23 migrants. 

The family were followed by 20 men who were wearing orange lifejackets.

Border Force vessel Seeker was next to enter the harbour around 1pm with approximately 30 male migrants.

At least 481 migrants have arrived in the UK since Monday after making the journey across busy shipping lanes from France.

The crossings continued as Home Secretary Priti Patel was seen meeting Border Force officers in the Kent port town on Thursday.

But the numbers so far are substantially lower than the week before.

A new record was set for the year so far when 1,959 people made the crossing in the week to September 10 - the highest total for any seven-day period in 2021.

A new record was set for the year so far when 1,959 people made the crossing in the week to September 10 - the highest total for any seven-day period in 2021. Pictured: A Border Force vessel intercepts a small boat off the coast of the English Channel

A man carrying a young child on his shoulders - who was wrapped in a blanket and wearing a woollen hat - were among a group of people seen arriving in Dover on Friday amid bright and breezy conditions at sea

At least 14,900 people have crossed to the UK on board small boats this year as record-breaking numbers of migrants have so far made it across the Channel in 2021

At least 14,900 people have crossed to the UK on board small boats this year.

The total for 2021 so far is already more than 6,500 higher than the number of people who made the crossing in 2020.

Border Force detained 222 people across 10 separate incidents on Thursday as people smugglers took advantage of the unusual warm September weather.

One of the first small boats to arrive contained six people from Syria and Sudan.

And a second boat with around 50 people on board was also intercepted at sea and brought into the harbour at Dover Marina.

Border Force catamaran Hurricane dropped off approximately 30 more migrants around 11am.

The men could be seen draped in light blue blankets wearing orange lifejackets as they disembarked and were escorted up the gangway by Immigration Enforcement for processing. 

It comes as more than 200 migrants crossed the Channel by small boat on the same day Home Secretary Priti Patel (above) was given a guided tour of operations on the frontline of the ongoing crisis

At least 481 migrants have arrived in the UK since Monday after making the journey across busy shipping lanes from France

In total, 14,942 people have made the dangerous crossing across the Channel in 2021 according to official Home Office records

It came on the same day Ms Patel, who says she will prioritise 'tackling illegal migration' after retaining her role in the cabinet reshuffle, visited Dover wearing a camel jacket, blue dress and sunglasses in the warm sunshine.

She could be seen being given a guided tour of Dover Marina by Border Force officers who showed her around their cutter Eagle docked in the harbour.

French authorities also said they intercepted 95 people in two incidents on Thursday.

It comes after 85 migrants crossed the Channel in four boats on Wednesday, with the French preventing 162 people from making the dangerous journey in five incidents.

And Border Force intercepted 11 migrants in one boat on Tuesday.

It takes the total number to arrive in September to 2,515 across 90 boats.

The total so far this year stands at 14,942, according to official Home Office figures.

Dan O'Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said today: 'This unacceptable rise in dangerous crossings is being driven by criminal gangs and a surge in illegal migration across Europe.'

'We're determined to target the criminals at every level, so far, we have secured nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented more than 12,000 migrant attempts.

'But there is more to do.

'The Government's New Plan for Immigration is the only credible way to fix the broken asylum system, breaking the business model of criminal gangs and welcoming people through safe and legal routes.'

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