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Two more groups of migrants attempt to get to Kent coast

By Eleanor Perkins

Fourteen more migrants have been found off the Kent coast this morning.

Six men and one woman were travelling by dinghy when they were intercepted by Border Force in the early hours.

Border Force has confirmed officers are also dealing with a second incident where a further seven people were found this morning. No further details have yet been disclosed.

The migrants were found on Dover Beach. Stock image
The migrants were found on Dover Beach. Stock image

It brings the total of people arriving in the area in the past two weeks to more than 80.

A police spokesman said: "At 8.23am police were notified that seven people had been found around two-and-a-half miles off the coast of Dover in a dinghy.

"The matter will be dealt with by Home Office Immigration Enforcement."

A Home Office spokesperson said: “At around 1.30am (Thursday, 22 November) Border Force deployed a coastal patrol vessel and intercepted a dinghy off the Kent coast with seven people on board.

“The dinghy and those on board were escorted into Dover were they were met by Border Force officers and Port of Dover police.

“The group consisted of six men and one woman, all of whom presented themselves as Iranian.

"They have been transferred to immigration officials for interview.”

Coastal patrols are being stepped up as a result of the spike in migrant arrivals at Dover.

"The group consisted of six men and one woman, all of whom presented themselves as Iranian" - Home Office spokesman

Most have been men claiming to be Iranian. But the numbers have also included at least nine women and four children, one a four-year-old boy.

Nearly all have travelled by small craft such as a fishing boat or dinghy.

This method of arrival by the migrants moves away from the common form, hiding in the backs of lorries.

Migrant charity Samphire believes that this is because of much tighter security at borders.

Speaking earlier this week, MP Charlie Elphicke said: "To see so many brazen attempts to break into Britain in one week is unprecedented and deeply concerning."

He has welcomes the increased patrols but said two cutters for the whole coastline is "ridiculous" and that more investment was needs to make the border secure.

Mr Elphicke added that is shows the desperation of these people, who are risking the perilous winter sea in a busy shipping route on small craft, even with children.

The National Crime Agency believes that traffickers involved in illegal inmigration are mainly behind these incidents.

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