A French navy warship reportedly escorted a boat full of migrants across the English Channel today as more than 100 arrivals were intercepted in 11 small boats in the biggest number to attempt the crossing this month.  

There is a significant Border Force presence in the Channel, with the Seeker cutter involved in overseeing a French warship escorting a dinghy across the 20-mile straits in territorial waters. 

The groups, mainly originating from Africa, were brought into the harbour at Dover in Kent, while another 12 migrants are thought to have landed on a beach at Dungeness on the Romney Marsh.

It comes after another 27 migrants were detained yesterday in one large rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB), and French authorities made two interceptions at sea involving 25 people. The French also prevented a further eight people from leaving the beaches around Calais to make the crossing yesterday. 

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander for Border Force, said: ‘These crossings are facilitated by callous criminals who smuggle people out of safe EU countries and put more pressure on our broken asylum system – delaying or denying support to those genuinely in need of protection.

‘We have committed to fixing the asylum system, to stop those who have no right to be in the UK coming here. The new system will be fairer and firmer and will be compassionate towards those who need our help, welcoming people through safe and legal routes.

‘We are working closely with the French, who today stopped 33 people from making these crossings.’

So far this year a record 7,200 of migrants have reached UK shores in small boats compared to around 1,850 in 2019. In September alone 1,954 made it across the English Channel in small boats. 

Border Force officials bringing a group of migrants into the Port of Dover after being intercepted in the English Channel

Border Force officials bringing a group of migrants into the Port of Dover after being intercepted in the English Channel

The groups, mainly African, were brought into the harbour at Dover in Kent, while another 12 migrants are thought to have landed on a beach at Dungeness on the Romney Marsh

The groups, mainly African, were brought into the harbour at Dover in Kent, while another 12 migrants are thought to have landed on a beach at Dungeness on the Romney Marsh

More than 100 migrants were intercepted trying to cross the English Channel in up to 11 small boats today in what is thought to be the largest number to attempt the crossing so far this month

More than 100 migrants were intercepted trying to cross the English Channel in up to 11 small boats today in what is thought to be the largest number to attempt the crossing so far this month

The groups, mainly African, were brought into the harbour at Dover in Kent, while another 12 migrants are thought to have landed on a beach at Dungeness on the Romney Marsh

The groups, mainly African, were brought into the harbour at Dover in Kent, while another 12 migrants are thought to have landed on a beach at Dungeness on the Romney Marsh

Border Force officials bringing a group of migrants into the Port of Dover after being intercepted in the English Channel

Border Force officials bringing a group of migrants into the Port of Dover after being intercepted in the English Channel

Pro-migrant demonstrators outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone gathered in a show of support welcoming migrants

Pro-migrant demonstrators outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone gathered in a show of support welcoming migrants

The last big arrival took place in the last week of September, as traffickers escorted migrants to England from Dunkirk. Photos showed migrants embarking from Gravelines beach. 

At least 27 boats were brought into the marina in Dover after a few days of relative quiet due to high seas in the world’s busiest shipping lane. 

Meanwhile, more than 100 local residents have gathered outside a military barracks in Kent where migrants are being housed to greet their ‘new neighbours’. Napier Barracks, in Folkestone, has been converted to house around 400 asylum seekers, many of whom have crossed the Channel by boat.

The Home Office confirmed on Saturday that one individual who had been living at Napier Barracks has tested positive for Covid-19. The unidentified person has been moved out of the military site.

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The safety and wellbeing of asylum seekers and the local communities in which they live is of the utmost importance, and we have robust measures in place to deal with any cases of coronavirus in our contingency accommodation.’ 

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area. The barracks has been converted to house 400 asylum seekers

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area. The barracks has been converted to house 400 asylum seekers

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area. The barracks has been converted to house 400 asylum seekers

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area. The barracks has been converted to house 400 asylum seekers

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area

Police intervene and remove a man during a demonstration outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where pro-migrant supporters have gathered to welcome migrants to the area

Dozens of well-wishers assembled at the barracks today to welcome the asylum seekers who have been arriving in recent weeks. Many bore placards with messages of solidarity in English and Arabic.

Groups of well-wishers shouted through gaps in the site boundary and waved to those inside, many of whom waved back. There were outbreaks of clapping and cheering in the festive atmosphere.

Migrant charity worker Bridget Chapman, of Kent Refugee Action Network, told the PA news agency: ‘It’s a really fantastic, inspiring collection of local community groups and national refugee support groups.

‘There’s a narrative that has been put forward by a group of people saying that these fellow human beings aren’t wanted in Folkestone and we know that isn’t the case.’

There are reports that counter-protesters will also gather in the area. A significant policing presence was deployed outside the barracks and in the surrounding area.  



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here