This is the moment an ‘overloaded’ dinghy rammed with migrants landed in Kent before the group of men, women and children posed for selfies on the beach on a day where a record 482 people crossed the Channel illegally.
More than 10,000 migrants have officially crossed the Channel by small boat so far this year after almost 500 made the dangerous journey yesterday, piling even more pressure on Priti Patel who has pinned her political career on stopping them.
The Home Secretary has handed £54million extra to France to patrol their beaches and is announced a Nationality and Borders bill to make it harder for people to claim asylum but still they come in even greater numbers.
Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke today condemned the record-breaking figure of migrants crossing the Channel as ‘outrageous’ – calling for boats to be turned around at sea and returned to France .
And yesterday a beachgoer filmed a boat of migrants pull up right next to Dungeness Power Station said that police were already waiting to collect them but allowed the group to pose for smartphone selfies on the pebbles.
The dramatic footage showed young children among the group of around 30 migrants who had made most of the treacherous crossing from France in a large blow-up boat before being rescued by the RNLI, which helped to bring them ashore.
The witness said: ‘I was fishing with a friend and around 11am I spotted a red pontoon approaching the shore. The pontoon was full of people and it was definitely overloaded.
‘The police were already waiting for them at the beach. When they got to the beach they kept very calm and walked away with the police officers. I guess there were around 20 people, maybe more, of different ages. I saw small kids, teenagers and lots of adults. Some of them were even taking photos of themselves when they landed’.
The moment the dinghy full of migrants lands on the stones at Dungeness in Kent yesterday – part of a record 482 people who arrived via the Channel yesterday
Trudging wearily across one of Britain’s most iconic beaches, this is the moment a group of migrants were captured on video arriving in the country as figures showed that an estimated 10,000 have crossed the Channel this year
The group of around 30 migrants who had made most of the treacherous crossing from France in a large blow-up boat before being rescued by the RNLI, which helped to bring them ashore
A group of migrants lie down and sit on the beach after arriving on Dungeness beach on Wednesday afternoon
The migrants are herded onto a coach after arriving at the beach in Dungeness earlier on Wednesday
The number of migrants crossing the Channel between 2019-21 has been increasing year-on-year. The graph above shows how many have crossed each month. The red line for 2021 soars above the lines for previous years, showing the monthly total is now at its highest ever
Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke condemned the record-breaking figure of migrants crossing the Channel as ‘outrageous’ – calling for boats to be turned around at sea and returned to France .
Priti Patel’s plan to pay France £55m to handle migrants trying to cross the Channel: Explained. But will it actually work?
Priti Patel has agreed to give France another £54million to stop the growing number of migrants crossing the Channel
Priti Patel has agreed to give France another £54million to stop the growing number of migrants crossing the Channel.
The Home Secretary’s controversial agreement with French interior minister Gerald Darmanin will see policing numbers along the French coast more than double to 200 to cover a wider area.
There will also be an increased use of aerial surveillance, including drones. The two countries agreed to draw up a long-term plan for a ‘smart border’ using technology to identify where crossings are being attempted.
But the deal failed to impress critics, who accuse the French authorities of not doing enough to stop small boats leaving their territorial waters.
With UK support last year, France doubled the number of officers deployed daily on French beaches, improved intelligence sharing and purchased more cutting-edge technology. This resulted in France preventing twice as many crossings so far this year than in the same period in 2020.
However, as French interceptions increased, the Home Office said that organised criminal gangs have changed their tactics, moving further up the French coast, and forcing migrants to take even longer, riskier journeys.
Charities branded the measures inhumane, while refugee rights campaigner Lord Dubs said Miss Patel’s plans were a ‘disservice to this country’s history’.
She said: ‘This year alone there have been more than 10,000 illegal crossings, and it’s only the first week of August. It’s outrageous and can’t carry on like this. I have long said that a new approach is needed urgently on the small boats crossings. To stop boats leaving France in the first place, turn boats around in the Channel and make returns. That’s the only way to bring the small boats crossings crisis to an end.’
The Channel crisis has reached new heights this week after figures showed more than 10,000 have now made the journey this year with Border Force have braced for 22,000 Channel migrants this year as record numbers make the dangerous crossing.
And last year a record number of unaccompanied children crossed the English Channel.
Kent County Council (KCC), which is responsible for their care, has repeatedly said it can’t cope with the numbers. On one day last year it took 23 lone children into its care. A spokesman for the Home Office said a comment on arrival numbers from Wednesday is due shortly.
More than 10,000 migrants have officially crossed the Channel by small boat so far this year after almost 500 made the dangerous journey on Wednesday – a new record for a single day.
Border Force intercepted 482 people in 21 boats which smashed the previous daily record set on July 19 when 430 arrived.
And more migrants have already been detained today with a number of boats attempting the crossing as people smugglers take advantage of a break in bad weather. beach landing reported a
A beach landing reported at St Margaret’s Bay while Border Force cutter Speedwell brought in around 30 migrants shortly before 9am.
Among those on board was two women with a little girl aged around five in a pink coat and an officer carrying a toddler up the pontoon to the marina.
The Home Office is yet to confirm how many migrants have arrived so far today. But their confirmation of Wednesday’s figures takes the total for 2021 so far to 10,222.
The first boat group of eight men and two women wearing orange lifejackets were brought into Dover Marina shortly after 9am on board a black Border Force RHIB.
A grey inflatable boat and a khaki dinghy were towed into the docks before the Border Force vessel returned with another 16 male migrants.
The vessels they used to cross the Dover Strait – a white inflatable and a black RHIB – were brought in afterwards.
Border Force coastal patrol vessel Hunter brought around 40 migrants into harbour around noon.
One woman, wearing a headscarf, blue dress and wrapped in a red blanket, appeared very uneasy on her feet and held her back as she disembarked before being put in a wheelchair by medics to be pushed up the gangway for processing.
The rest of the group were men who appeared to be from the Middle East. One was wearing a black Armani jacket with its hood up while another wore Nike tracksuit bottoms.
The RNLI’s Dover Lifeboat Daniel L Gibson was tasked to rescue around 55 migrants for the second consecutive day.
A mum held the hand of her son, who appeared to be aged around four, as he wore yellow boots to walk up the gangway for processing.
Very young children were spotted coming ashore with what appeared to be family members in Dover yesterday
More than 260 people are thought to have arrived aboard a dozen boats on Tuesday (pictured at Dungeness)
Migrants are pictured on an inflatable craft in a busy shipping lane off the coast of Dover
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Migrants have boasted of dodging quarantine due to poor security at hotels being paid for by the British taxpayer, reports say.
Some admitted they left their rooms and were allowed to go shopping amid confusion among guards over who was supposed to be self-isolating.
It comes despite Britons returning from trips abroad having to lock themselves away for ten days with police checking up on them and daily phone calls.
The Channel migrant crisis reached new heights yesterday as the number reaching Britain this year topped 10,000.
More than 260 are thought to have arrived aboard a dozen boats yesterday. They were brought to Dover Marina in Kent for processing by immigration officers.
There had been 9,740 confirmed arrivals by the end of Tuesday, plus an estimated 269 yesterday. By comparison, there were 8,500 arrivals across the Channel in the whole of last year and 1,850 in 2019.
The latest staggering milestone was reached while Home Secretary Priti Patel was in Greece during a visit to an asylum reception centre.
Ms Patel sailed on the Aegean with the Hellenic coastguard, who have been accused of deploying hard-line tactics against migrants attempting to reach Europe.
Her fact-finding mission to the Greek government’s recently completed processing centre on the island of Samos is expected to feed into Home Office plans to build similar facilities here.
Two more young boys wearing identical bobble hats raced up the walkway afterwards followed by their mum.
They were followed by a woman holding her young son’s hand and two mums carrying their infant daughters, no more than two-years-old, in their arms.
The 16 women and children, who appeared to be from Africa, were followed by a Middle Eastern family, consisting of a mother, father, two sons and a daughter, and another mum with three daughters.
One of the approximate 30 young Middle Eastern men who left the boat was wearing a Chelsea FC tracksuit top.
Around 80 Middle Eastern men aged in their 20s were brought in at 2pm on Border Force catamaran Hurricane.
Speedwell brought in 38 male migrants shortly before 4pm.
One man wearing shorts had his left leg amputated and required crutches to make his way up the gangway.
It came as around 30 migrants were rescued by the RNLI off Dungeness. They were seen sitting on the shingle as they disembarked the lifeboat one by one while their grey RHIB with outboard engine was towed to shore.
Witnesses on the beaches suggest there was another landing at Dungeness and a landing at Hythe which forced the Ministry of Defence to stop an operation at a nearby firing range.
These could bring the total to successfully land on Kent beaches on Wednesday to around 75. But these were not pictured and therefore cannot be verified.
The Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea prevented 34 migrants from crossing the Channel on Wednesday in two boats.
The first boat – containing 15 men, two women and three children – was spotted in difficulty off Dunkirk. They were brought back to Gravelines by the National Society for Rescue at Sea.
French coast guard cruiser Nordet also rescued a man overboard and brought him to safety at the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
It also dropped off a further 13 migrants who had been picked up after getting into difficulty off Hardelot-Plage.
The French report greatly differs from the Home Office’s report on French interceptions. They say the French prevented 246 people from reaching the UK in eight crossings.
So far in August, 807 migrants have arrived on UK shores in 29 boats.
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘These dangerous small boat crossings, facilitated by criminal gangs, are putting lives at risk.
‘These numbers are unacceptable, that’s why we are taking action on all fronts. Law enforcement agencies are dismantling the people smuggling gangs.
‘Joint work with the French has seen a doubling of police officers on French beaches. And we are reforming the pull factors here at home.
‘The government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible long term plan to fix the broken asylum system and bring this exploitation to an end.’