Nearly 600 migrants intercepted in Channel in past three days

4 June 2021, 18:36 | Updated: 4 June 2021, 21:27

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, on Thursday
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, on Thursday. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Nearly 600 migrants have been intercepted attempting to cross the English Channel in the past three days.

Border Force dealt with 12 incidents on Thursday and Friday involving 284 people, the Home Office confirmed.

Meanwhile, French authorities intercepted nine crossings on Wednesday and Thursday preventing 171 people from reaching the UK. On Friday, they dealt with a further eight incidents involving 130 people.

This makes a total of 585 attempting to make the crossing in just three days.

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The Coastguard was also involved in rescuing the occupants of one boat near Hastings, East Sussex, on Thursday.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Criminal gangs are putting profits before people's lives through these dangerous and unnecessary crossings.

"More than 3,500 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people smuggling.

"Inaction is not an option whilst people are dying.

"The Government is bringing legislation forward through our New Plan for Immigration which will break the business model of these heinous people smuggling networks and save lives."

The number of people crossing the 21-mile stretch of water has almost doubled so far in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, with more than 3,100 having reached the English coast by the end of May.

Anti-immigration demonstrations were held in Dover last weekend with protesters blocking access to key trade terminals.