Kent

Channel migrants: Boat carrying 28 rescued off Dover

Border Force patrol boat Image copyright Leon Neal
Image caption The Border Force was called to assist the migrant boat off Dover

Twenty eight migrants have been brought ashore after the boat they were in was intercepted off Kent.

The Dover lifeboat assisted the Border Force in dealing with the vessel.

Twenty six men and two women were medically assessed and handed to immigration officials. Three who claimed to be minors will have their ages assessed.

Home Office director for crime and enforcement Tony Eastaugh said extra patrols were in place in France.

In the latest incident, a Border Force vessel was called to assist the boat at about 05:30 GMT and the group presented themselves as Pakistani, Afghan, Iraqi, Iranian and Syrian nationals.

After the rescue, Mr Eastaugh said: "We are tackling illegal migrant crossings on all fronts with every agency including Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, National Crime Agency and policing teams working in tandem with the French and Belgian authorities."

Latest figures from the Home Office said more than 125 migrants who entered the UK illegally via small boats had been returned to Europe since January 2019.

Last week, UK officials met with French and Belgian authorities to improve co-operation, and a Border Force officer will soon be based in Zeebrugge, the government said.

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