Hundreds more migrants reach the UK amid record Channel crossings

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
AT SEA, ENGLAND - JULY 22: An inflatable craft carrying migrant men, women and children crosses the shipping lane in the English Channel on July 22, 2021 off the coast of Dover, England. On Monday, 430 migrants crossed the channel from France, a record for a single day. To stem the rising numbers, the British and French governments announced yesterday a deal under which the UK will pay over £54 million and France will double the number of police patrolling the beaches from which migrants launch their boats. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
An inflatable craft carrying migrant men, women and children crosses the shipping lane in the Channel on 22 July off the coast of Dover. (Getty)

Nearly 300 migrants were intercepted while trying to cross the Channel to reach the UK on Tuesday.

The Home Office has confirmed that Border Force officials dealt with seven events, while French authorities intercepted one small boat that was carrying 20 people.

In total, 281 reached the UK after being intercepted crossing the Channel by British authorities.

The figure comes as the number of migrant crossings over the English Channel this year has already surpassed the total for the entirety of 2020.

Last month it was reported that at least 8,452 people made the dangerous journey across the Channel on small boats.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Monday July 26, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel, on 26 July. (Getty)

That figure has now been updated to more than 9,700.

Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine Channel threat commander for the Home Office, said the government is “continuing to take steps to tackle the unacceptable problem”.

The Home Office has called the crossings "dangerous" and said those without a legal right to remain in the UK would be returned home.

Watch: Group of men in small dinghy make journey from France

Home secretary Priti Patel and French interior minister Gerald Darmanin announced an agreement last month to more than double the number of police patrolling French beaches to prevent illegal migration and stop small boats departing.

Patel said British people have “had enough of illegal migration and the exploitation of migrants by criminal gangs”.

Thousands of migrants have continued to make the trip across the Channel, often packed aboard unseaworthy dinghies, putting their lives at risk on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The Detention Action charity, which acts to defend the rights of people held in UK immigration centres, said the government has now “lost all credibility in managing a safe and fair asylum system”.

DOVER, KENT, UNITED KINGDOM - 2021/08/02: Migrants are interviewed and processed by the Border Force before being transported to emergency accommodation in Dover.
Despite the British government's best efforts to stop the illegal crossings, large numbers continue to cross the English Channel everyday. (Photo by Edward Crawford/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Migrants are interviewed and processed by the Border Force before being transported to emergency accommodation in Dover on 2 August. (Getty)

Last week, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) raised more than £200,000 in a single day following criticism from Nigel Farage that it was running a “migrant taxi service”.

On his GB News programme, Farage said he had “massive admiration” for the RNLI but he believed it was “doing the wrong thing” by rescuing migrants, and that this was leading to “division in coastal communities”.

But Mark Dowie, the chief executive of the RNLI, defended the charity's work, telling The Guardian it had a moral and legal duty to rescue migrants in danger in the sea.

AT SEA, ENGLAND - JULY 22: An inflatable craft carrying migrant men, women and children crosses the shipping lane in the English Channel on July 22, 2021 off the coast of Dover, England. On Monday, 430 migrants crossed the channel from France, a record for a single day. To stem the rising numbers, the British and French governments announced yesterday a deal under which the UK will pay over £54 million and France will double the number of police patrolling the beaches from which migrants launch their boats. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
An inflatable craft carrying migrant men, women and children crosses the shipping lane in the Channel on 22 July. (Getty)

The RNLI said it had been inundated with donations and messages of support since its chief executive hit out at Farage’s comments.

The charity said it received £200,000 in charitable donations last Wednesday – around 30 times its normal average of £6,000–£7,000 per day.

There was also a near four-fold increase in people viewing volunteering opportunities on the sea charity’s website during the same period.

A “small number” of others, however, contacted the RNLI to withdraw financial support following Dowie’s decision to speak out and praise volunteers’ work during the migrant crisis.

Watch: Lifeboat crews' role in migrant rescues is humanitarian work – RNLI boss

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