Almost 400 migrants arrived on British shores on Sunday – taking the total number of people to arrive so far this year soaring past 9,000.
Border Force dealt with 378 people attempting to cross the Channel in 12 boats yesterday, making it one of the busiest days of 2021.
Battling downpours of rain at Dover Marina, Kent, a Border Force vessel brought the first migrants into port at around 9.30am.
Around 100 men, all wearing orange lifejackets, face masks and some with their hoods up to protect themselves from the adverse weather, were seen on board.
One man, wearing a grey tracksuit and red hoodie, flashed a ‘V for victory’ sign as he was escorted onto dry land by a Border Force officer.
BF catamaran Hurricane then brought in a further 70 men, some huddling under light blue blankets for warmth, around an hour later.
It means 9,255 migrants have made the dangerous 21-mile journey so far this year – already surpassing last year’s record total of 8,410. However, estimates have suggested total arrivals could shoot up to 22,000 by the end of the year at current rates.
July has also seen a record breaking 3,349 arrivals in 112 boats – beating June’s high of 2,179 in 92 boats.
Border Force vessels worked through downpours of rain to bring 378 migrants into the Port of Dover on Sunday, one of the busiest days of 2021. Pictured: One man flashes a ‘V for victory’ sign as they arrive in port
The weekend’s arrivals mean 9,255 migrants have made the dangerous 21-mile journey so far this year – already surpassing last year’s record total of 8,410.
Estimates have suggested total arrivals could shoot up to 22,000 by the end of the year at current rates
One woman who had to be helped off the boat was given wheelchair and escorted up the ramp still wearing her fluorescent life jacket
Over in Dungeness, around 20 miles down the Kent coast, the RNLI were busy bringing in around 20 migrants on a lifeboat.
A woman and a child were among the men spotted walking up the shingle after being detained by Immigration Enforcement.
Their large black rigid hulled inflatable boat with outboard engine could be seen floating on the shore.
Back in Dover, Border Force cutter Hunter was packed with migrants as the queue of those being processed continued to grow.
Around 30 people who appeared to be of African origin, this time including women and children, were brought to harbour around 1.30pm.
A young girl aged around five wearing a grey beanie hat and blue coat could be seen playfully running her hand along the fenced gangway before waving at onlookers as she plodded up towards the processing tent.
Two young boys held the hands of their parents as they disembarked while another held hands with a gloved Immigration Enforcement officer.
Several children and women were seen amongst the crowded boats of mostly men
Despite downpours of rain at Dover Marina, Kent on Sunday, Border Force cutter Valiant brought the first migrants in around 9.30am. Around 100 men, all wearing orange lifejackets, face masks and some with their hoods up to protect themselves from the adverse weather, were seen on board
Responding to the latest figures, Home Secretary Priti Patel, said: ‘The British public should be in no doubt of our unwavering determination to stop these dangerous crossings from safe EU countries and take down the evil criminal gangs behind them’
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘There is an unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings across the channel because of a surge in illegal migration across Europe’
The number of migrants crossing the Channel between 2019-21 has been increasing year-on-year. The graph above shows how many have crossed each month. The red line for 2021 soars above the lines for previous years, showing the monthly total is now at its highest ever
Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced an additional £54million would be given to French authorities to help strengthen patrols across the country’s northern beaches to prevent crossings
One toddler wearing a padded overall had a dummy in their mouth and looked as if they were only just old enough to walk up the gangway with the help of their father.
In what was an extremely busy day for UK search and rescue teams, French authorities prevented 178 migrants from crossing in five boats.
And more migrants have already been brought into Dover Marina today.
Priti Patel’s plan to pay France £55m to handle migrants trying to cross the Channel: Explained
Priti Patel has agreed to give France another £54million to stop the growing number of migrants crossing the Channel
Priti Patel has agreed to give France another £54million to stop the growing number of migrants crossing the Channel.
The Home Secretary’s controversial agreement with French interior minister Gerald Darmanin will see policing numbers along the French coast more than double to 200 to cover a wider area.
There will also be an increased use of aerial surveillance, including drones. The two countries agreed to draw up a long-term plan for a ‘smart border’ using technology to identify where crossings are being attempted.
But the deal failed to impress critics, who accuse the French authorities of not doing enough to stop small boats leaving their territorial waters.
With UK support last year, France doubled the number of officers deployed daily on French beaches, improved intelligence sharing and purchased more cutting-edge technology. This resulted in France preventing twice as many crossings so far this year than in the same period in 2020.
However, as French interceptions increased, the Home Office said that organised criminal gangs have changed their tactics, moving further up the French coast, and forcing migrants to take even longer, riskier journeys.
Charities branded the measures inhumane, while refugee rights campaigner Lord Dubs said Miss Patel’s plans were a ‘disservice to this country’s history’.
Hurricane was seen with around 30 migrants sitting on the deck. One man was seen carrying his young son aged no more than four while a woman walked behind them.
Another woman held the hand of a girl, believed to be her daughter aged around seven, who appeared unsteady on her feet as she walked along the mooring wearing a purple jacket with the help of a Border Force officer.
The Home Office is yet to confirm exactly how many migrants have been intercepted making the treacherous trip across one of the world’s busiest shipping routes today.
Responding to the latest figures, Home Secretary Priti Patel, said: ‘The British public should be in no doubt of our unwavering determination to stop these dangerous crossings from safe EU countries and take down the evil criminal gangs behind them.
‘We are utilising all aspects of Government to tackle this issue and our significant actions are having an impact.’
Ms Patel recently announced an additional £54million would be given to French authorities to help strengthen patrols across the country’s northern beaches to prevent crossings.
She also praised French efforts at tackling the issue, adding: ‘French authorities have already prevented over 7,500 migrants entering the UK this year – nearly treble the number for the same period in 2020 – and earlier this week we signed a strengthened agreement to increase police patrols on French beaches, improve surveillance technology and enhance intelligence sharing.
‘Since the start of 2020, we have secured more than 65 small boat related prosecutions, totalling over 53 years in jail. This is the result of extensive collaborative upstream operational work taking place with our law enforcement and intelligence partners.
‘This week, we also saw the landmark Nationality and Borders Bill proceed through Parliament, which will reform the system to make people think again before attempting to enter this country illegally and break the business model of people smugglers.’
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘There is an unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings across the channel because of a surge in illegal migration across Europe.
‘Earlier this week we signed a strengthened agreement with our French counterparts to increase police patrols on French beaches and enhance intelligence sharing. This joint work has already prevented over 7,500 migrants enter the UK – nearly treble the number for the same period in 2020.
‘The Government continues to take steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration through the Nationality & Borders Bill which will protect lives and break this cycle of illegal crossings. The Government is also continuing to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK.’