Border Force intercept another 185 migrants in nine Channel crossings today

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Almost 200 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today – with the total number so far this year surpassing 2,100.

The Home Office confirmed that another 185 migrants attempted the journey in nine separate incidents today.

These latest arrivals mean that the total number to make the crossing this year is now 2,108 – including 223 in January, 308 in February, 831 in March and 746 in April. 

It comes as French authorities prevented at least three events involving 40 migrants on Saturday.

Two Italian ports also faced an influx of hundreds of migrants after a charity ship sailed toward a Sicilian port with 236 people rescued in the Mediterranean from traffickers’ boats with a further 532 being rescued by the Italian coastguard.

Almost 200 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today - with the total number so far this year surpassing 2,100

Almost 200 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today – with the total number so far this year surpassing 2,100 

These latest arrivals mean that the total number to make the journey this year is now 2,108 - including 223 in January, 308 in February, 831 in March and 746 in April

These latest arrivals mean that the total number to make the journey this year is now 2,108 – including 223 in January, 308 in February, 831 in March and 746 in April

There were 185 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today

There were 185 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today

The Home Office confirmed that the migrants attempted the journey in nine separate incidents today

The Home Office confirmed that the migrants attempted the journey in nine separate incidents today

These latest arrivals mean that the total number to make the journey this year is now 2,108 - including 223 in January, 308 in February, 831 in March and 746 in April

These latest arrivals mean that the total number to make the journey this year is now 2,108 – including 223 in January, 308 in February, 831 in March and 746 in April

A spokesperson for Home Office said: ‘We are working closely with our partners in France to stop these unnecessary journeys and the ruthless criminal gangs behind them. 

‘As a result more than 2,500 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year, and we have also secured 65 small boat related prosecutions since the start of 2020.

‘There is more work to be done and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the asylum system, cracking down on the business model of people smugglers who put lives at risk by facilitating dangerous journeys into the UK.’

Last month Miss Patel announced that border guards patrolling the Channel will be given powers to turn back migrant boats. 

The crackdown will be dependent on France and other countries accepting the return of migrants. 

Border Force officials were seen helping one woman off the boat after she was picked up making the crossing

Border Force officials were seen helping one woman off the boat after she was picked up making the crossing

The Home Office confirmed that another 185 migrants attempted the journey in nine separate incidents today

The Home Office confirmed that another 185 migrants attempted the journey in nine separate incidents today

The planned shake-up includes other controversial steps such as stripping failed asylum seekers of support and accommodation.

Foreign nationals could also be refused UK visas if their governments do not accept deportations of their own immigration rule-breakers from Britain.

France struck a deal with the UK in November to tackle illegal Channel crossings but has so far resisted the idea of having dinghies sent back to its northern beaches.

The Government’s new plan for immigration, published in full on March 24, revealed the bill for the asylum system is set to rise to more than £1.3billion this year, from just under £1billion in 2019-20.    

Last month Miss Patel announced that border guards patrolling the Channel will be given powers to turn back migrant boats. Pictured: Migrants arriving earlier today

Last month Miss Patel announced that border guards patrolling the Channel will be given powers to turn back migrant boats. Pictured: Migrants arriving earlier today

Almost 200 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today

Almost 200 migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials as they crossed the English Channel today

It comes as French authorities also prevented at least three events involving 40 migrants today. 

Two Italian ports faced an influx of hundreds of migrants on Saturday too as a charity ship sailed toward a Sicilian port with 236 people rescued in the Mediterranean from traffickers’ boats, while Italian coastguard and border police took 532 others to a tiny island.

The maritime rescue group SOS Mediterranee said a ship it operates, Ocean Viking, pulled the migrants to safety four days ago from two rubber dinghies.

Under instruction from Italian authorities, the Ocean Viking was sailing to Augusta, Sicily, with its passengers, who it said included 119 unaccompanied minors.

SOS Mediterranee said some told rescuers they were beaten by smugglers in Libya and forced to embark on the unseaworthy dinghies despite high waves.

On Italy’s southern island of Lampedusa, which is closer to North Africa than to the Italian mainland, mayor Salvatore Martello said migrants from four boats that needed rescue stepped ashore overnight.

They were taken to safety by Italian coastguard and customs police boats.

Separately, an Italian navy vessel rescued 49 migrants, Italian state TV reported.

Still in the central Mediterranean on Saturday was another charity boat, Sea-Watch 4, with 308 people on board who had been rescued in four separate operations from trafficker-launched vessels, Sea-Watch said in a statement.

The first rescue, of 44 people, took place on Thursday, it said.

Sea-Watch 4 has requested a port to disembark the migrants from both Italy and Malta.

Number of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats

  • January 2020 – 87
  • February 2020 – 192
  • March 2020 – 187
  • April 2020 – 530
  • May 2020 – 741 
  • June 2020 – 702
  • July 2020 – 1118
  • August 2020 – 1,468
  • September 2020 – 1,954
  • October 2020 – 463 

  • November 2020 – 757
  • December 2020 – 211
  • January 2021 – 223
  • February 2021 – 308
  • March 2021 – 831
  • April 2021  746 

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