Record migrant numbers cross English Channel in small boats

Border Force patrol boatImage source, Leon Neal
Image caption,
The Home Office said at least 480 migrants attempted to cross the English Channel on Sunday

A record number of migrants crossed the Channel on the day the home secretary announced a "new operation approach" to dealing with small boat crossings.

The Home Office said 180 migrants made the crossing to the UK on Sunday in 15 boats.

More than 200 migrants were also intercepted by the French authorities and prevented from making the crossing.

Another 32 migrants crossed the Channel in four small boats on Monday, the Home Office has confirmed.

So far this year 2,660 people have made the crossing to the Kent and Sussex coast from France in small boats.

The previous highest number to get to the UK in a single day was 166 on 3 June.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Priti Patel met with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin during her visit to Calais,

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the number of crossings were rising, despite the efforts of the UK and France, and "simply cannot be allowed to go on".

She announced on Sunday the two countries had signed a deal on immigration and border management to establish a joint intelligence unit to "crack down on the gangs behind this vile people-smuggling operation".

Ms Patel said: "Despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date - intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars - the numbers continue to increase."

On Saturday, 21 migrants in three boats were brought back to France - including four who were suffering from severe hypothermia after their boat capsized.

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