Over 800 migrants intercepted crossing English Channel in new daily record

24 August 2021, 00:03 | Updated: 24 August 2021, 09:49

A total of 828 people attempted to cross the English Channel on Saturday, according to the latest figures from the Home Office
A total of 828 people attempted to cross the English Channel on Saturday, according to the latest figures from the Home Office. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

A total of 828 migrants were intercepted or rescued crossing the English Channel on Saturday, the Home Office has said.

The figure supersedes the previous daily record of 592, which was recorded on August 12.

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said the crossings were "dangerous" and "completely unnecessary" and said the Government's new immigration plan would prevent the system from being "exploited".

"These dangerous crossings from safe EU countries are completely unnecessary and we are determined to take down the evil criminal gangs behind them," said Mr O’Mahoney.

"We’re working across Government as well as with French and International partners to tackle this issue.

"We have doubled the number of police officers on French beaches, prevented more than 10,000 attempts, secured nearly 300 arrests and 65 prosecutions.

"The Government’s New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken asylum system so it can no longer be exploited in this way."

The Home Office said that the 828 people crossing the channel on Saturday were rescued or intercepted as part of 30 'events'.

They also confirmed that there were no recorded crossings on Sunday or so far on Monday.

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The number of migrants making the dangerous journey across the English Channel in small boats this year has already exceeded the total for 2020.

It overtook the figure for 2020 - 8,417 - in July.

The RNLI were abused online as a result of the figures last month - prompting a surge in donations from the public.

The charity said they made "no apology" for their work, adding: "Every life is precious."

The figures come days after the Government announced a bespoke resettlement scheme for Afghan refugees.

The scheme could give up to 20,000 Afghans refugee status in the UK, with priority being given to at-risk groups such as women, children and religious and other minorities.

Other at-risk groups include journalists and those that have assisted western efforts against the Taliban in the past.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed that a total of 7,109 people have so far been evacuated from Afghanistan by UK troops.

This includes embassy staff, British nationals, those eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) programme and a number of nationals from partner nations.