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Six migrants rescued near Dover attempting to get to Kent coast

By Katie Davis

A further group of migrants has been rescued off the Kent coast - bringing the total to more than 125 in the last month.

Six people, thought to be from Iran, were found on a small boat at about 3.30am this morning.

With the help of the Dover lifeboat, they were brought to safety by a Border Force cutter.

More than 100 migrants have been rescued in the last month. Stock picture (5908149)
More than 100 migrants have been rescued in the last month. Stock picture (5908149)

There were five men and one woman on the boat.

A Home Office spokesperson said they received a medical assessment and have been transferred to immigration officials for interview.

It follows an influx in migrants attempting to reach the UK being intercepted in the areas coastal areas of Dover and Folkestone.

Between November 8 and November 27, 14 attempts were made to enter Kent using small boats.

Figures show that 119 people were found at sea in a three-week period, with a further two men pulled from an inflatable boat just last week.

In one incident, an 18-month-old child was thought to be among a group picked up by the authorities.

In response to this upsurge in attempts to reach the UK via the Channel, a Home Office spokesman said: "We have stepped up deployments of our coastal patrol vessels along the south-east coast in light of recent events. However, this is not an issue that can be resolved by maritime resources alone.

"The Home Secretary has been clear the evidence shows there is organised criminal gang activity behind illegal migration attempts by small boats across the Channel, which we take extremely seriously.

"We are working across government and with both domestic and international agencies to respond to this issue.

"The Home Secretary confirmed that a new UK-France Co-ordination and Information Centre has opened in Calais as part of the ongoing co-operation between the UK and France to tackle criminality at the border."

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