Nearly 2,000 migrants arrived in the UK last week in new record for 2021

13 September 2021, 15:56 | Updated: 13 September 2021, 16:35

A total of 1,959 people crossed the Channel in the week to September 10
A total of 1,959 people crossed the Channel in the week to September 10. Picture: Alamy Live News

By Daisy Stephens

A record-breaking number of migrants arrived in the UK last week, with nearly 2,000 making the journey across the English Channel.

A total of 1,959 people crossed the Channel from France in the week to September 10 - the highest total for any seven-day period in 2021, data compiled and analysed by the PA news agency shows.

It comes as more crossings were under way on Monday amid reports of cooler and slightly overcast weather on the south coast, with breezy but clear conditions at sea.

Several young children were among a group seen arriving in Dungeness, Kent, while immigration officers were pictured tending to a woman who had been taken ill after she was brought ashore on a stretcher by police and members of the RNLI.

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At least 14,400 people have crossed to the UK on board small boats this year.

Figures for the most recent seven-day period, covering the week to September 12, show that 1,876 people arrived.

The total for 2021 so far is already over 6,000 higher than the number of people who made the crossing in 2020.

The figures come just days after Home Secretary Priti Patel was said to have authorised plans for armoured jet skis, or "personal water craft", to spin migrant boats attempting to cross the channel around mid-crossing.

Ms Patel reportedly oversaw the final stages of a Border Force training programme which would see officers physically rotate boats in the channel.

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Former Navy chief Admiral Lord West said the strategy could be dangerous.

"It's an accident waiting to happen," he said.

"It's not clever and it is problematic."

He added that if sea conditions were not calm, or those on board do not cooperate with Border Force officers, boats could capsize.