Mon, 29 Nov 2021

Hundreds of migrants apprehended crossing English Channel

Robert Besser
14 Oct 2021, 19:08 GMT+10

LONDON, England: The UK Home Office has said 40 small boats carrying 1,115 migrants crossed the English Channel over a recent two day period.

On Saturday, the Border Force picked up 491 migrants on 17 boats, while French authorities prevented 114 people from making the journey.

But 624 people crossed on 23 boats last Friday, with French authorities stopping 300 more.

Some 3,879 migrants made the crossing in September, more than any previous month since the start of the crisis.

This year, more than 18,000 people have so far made the crossing from France to England in small boats, compared to just over 8,460 in 2020, according to the Home Office.

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin visited Calais on Saturday to assess the efforts to stop migrants crossing the English Channel by boat.

A £54m deal was announced in July between the UK and France, stipulating that France would double its police patrol along beaches to prevent migrant crossings.

But UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently threatened to withhold funds unless more people were stopped from crossing the channel.

"This year, record numbers of people have put their lives in the hands of ruthless people smugglers and risked perilous channel crossings from French beaches," said a Home Office spokesman.

"Joint cooperation with the French has led to nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented more than 13,500 crossings. But with hundreds still risking their lives and making the crossing, all sides must do more," he added, noting 89 people on board five boats also made the crossing on Thursday.

The migrants, who are mainly from the poorest and most unstable areas of the world, usually claim asylum once they are picked up by British authorities.

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