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More than 550 migrants intercepted crossing Channel

More than 550 migrants intercepted crossing Channel

More than 550 migrants have been intercepted attempting to cross the Channel as the home secretary reaffirmed her “unwavering determination” to stop the journeys.

A total of 378 migrants were detained by the UK authorities in 12 incidents on Sunday, while 178 others were stopped from reaching the UK by French ships in five further incidents, according to the Home Office.

Earlier this week, the number of people who had crossed to the UK so far this year up to Tuesday had reached 8,452, which exceeded the figure for the whole of 2020, when 8,417 people made the trip. The figures are based on Home Office data obtained and analysed by the PA news agency.

More than 700 people succeeded in crossing the Channel on Monday and Tuesday, many of whom landed on Dungeness beach in Kent. Border Force vessels and French warships were active in the Dover Strait on Wednesday, bringing dozens of people into the port.

On Friday, a further 37 people were intercepted by the UK authorities, with a further 67 stopped by the French.

The number of people who have attempted to cross the Channel on Sunday has not yet been confirmed by the Home Office.

A spokesman said: “Border Force is currently dealing with ongoing small boat incidents off the Kent coast. Further details will be provided after the initial response and once the situation has been resolved.”

On Tuesday, Priti Patel announced an agreement to more than double the number of police patrolling French beaches, as part of which the government will give France £54m.

In a statement released on Sunday, the home secretary said: “The British public should be in no doubt of our unwavering determination to stop these dangerous crossings from safe EU countries and take down the evil criminal gangs behind them.”