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More than 380 migrants attempted to cross English Channel into Dover in a day

More than 380 migrants tried to cross the English Channel yesterday - a new record for the number of attempts in just one day.

Border Force and its partners intercepted 180 migrants in 15 boats as they made their way to the Kent coast.

Border Force helped intercept 180 migrants yesterday. Stock picture: Susan Pilcher
Border Force helped intercept 180 migrants yesterday. Stock picture: Susan Pilcher

A further 200 were stopped by French authorities while on beaches or shallow waters off its shoreline.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I have been in France today seeing first-hand the significant work undertaken on that side of The Channel to address the unacceptably high levels of small boats, alongside the efforts of Border Force and the National Crime Agency in the UK.

“But despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date - intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars - the numbers continue to increase.

“This simply cannot be allowed to go on. Today, I have signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence cell which will crack down on the gangs behind this vile people-smuggling operation and impressed on my French counterpart the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both our countries.

"This is the start of a new operational approach with the newly appointed French Interior Minister.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel was in France yesterday to urge stronger action. Picture: Home Office
Home Secretary Priti Patel was in France yesterday to urge stronger action. Picture: Home Office

Yesterday's figure marks a new record, with the previous high coming in May when 300 migrants were halted in their efforts over the course of a weekend.

Of the 15 boats stopped, the most people detained in one vessel was 22 with the second-most being 21, who were stopped by the RNLI.

Conversely two migrants were found in one boat - the lowest number in an interception - and three in another.

On average, there were 12 migrants per vessel stopped yesterday.

All of those seized were taken to Dover to be processed and medically assessed, before efforts to restore them to their country of origin began.

This year has seen a large increase in the number of migrants crossing, which the Home Office largely blames on organised criminal gangs facilitating the illegal inmigration.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

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