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Migrants: Record number of Channel crossings in August

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image copyrightPA Media
image captionA group of people thought to be migrants were picked up by a Border Force vessel on Sunday

More than 1,200 migrants have made the crossing across the English Channel in small boats already in August, a record for a single month.

Eight vessels carrying 112 people were intercepted by Border Force patrols on Sunday.

On Saturday, 65 people in five boats were intercepted and brought to shore.

Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O'Mahoney said: "We are determined to return those who do not have a legitimate asylum claim."

image copyrightPA Media
image captionA man carries a young child as a group of migrants are brought into Dover on a Border Force vessel on Sunday

More than 4,400 people have made the journey successfully this year, with a record number on one day during the hot weather.

Mr O'Mahoney said the crossings were being "facilitated by criminals who are making money exploiting migrants desperate to come to our country".

"France is a manifestly safe country with a fully functioning asylum system and refugees there can and should claim asylum," he said.

"I am working with my counterparts in France and have reaffirmed our joint commitment to stopping these crossings and making this route totally unviable."

The government's response has been criticised by some charities, with Refugee Action saying "aggressive hostility" to people seeking asylum was "making a difficult situation much worse".

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