Published: 09:05, 07 August 2020
| Updated: 16:38, 07 August 2020
The Home Secretary is considering calling in the British Navy to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis.
It comes as 235 people crossed the English Channel by boat yesterday (Thursday) - setting a new record for crossings in a single day.
Border Force cutter Seeker and patrol boats Speedwell and Hunter intercepted 17 vessels, one of which was carrying 26 people.
Among one of the groups who landed at Dungeness was a pregnant women and several children.
And this morning (Friday), Border Force and HM Coastguard are back in the channel currently dealing with more incidents off Dover.
The exact details of the number of boats or people on them has yet to be revealed.
The Home Office however has declined to comment on the Navy’s potential involvement.
Dover MP Natalie Elphicke has called the situation with small boat crossings "entirely unacceptable" in an interview with Sky.
She said: "We've now seen thousands of people, record numbers, breaking into Britain through the small boats route and we've got to bring an end to this small boats crisis.
"We'll only bring an end to the crisis when both the traffickers and migrants alike know they won't succeed in breaking into Britain and for me that has three parts.
"Firstly the boats have to be stopped before they leave French shores, when they get in French waters they must be immediately taken back to France and anyone that breaks into Britain must be returned swiftly."
Mrs Elphicke added that people in France are in already in a country "that operates an advanced asylum and benefit system" and they should therefore be "seeking support" there.
She said it was worrying how many of the small boats reach on Kent's beaches.
"In addition to ones we see intercepted at sea, residents are worried when they wake up in the morning and go to the beach and see migrants who have arrived and waiting to be picked up by Border Force," she said.
"The safest thing, the right thing, is for people to be asking the French for asylum and not to be taking these dangerous crossings and they're doing so because this is part of organised crime: people trafficking."
Mrs Elphicke added that the Home Secretary is working with the French authorities to see what more can be done.
But she said in the long term, people from conflict areas are best supported closer to their home. She said: "It is absolutely right that we play a full part in the world in terms of meeting the humanitarian crisis.
"But it is absolutely wrong that people should break into our country using illegal routes and facilitated by organised crime."
Statement from coastguard today: HM Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country. We are only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.
This morning we have been assisting Border Force with incidents off Dover. For any further information please contact the Home Office press team.